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Conclusion of the R4ACT workshop and ‘Nanterre Declaration’

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A workshop was convened on 22nd November 2019 with a group of researchers, donor and health, nutrition and Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) advisers from multiple organisations to translate evidence on water quality into concrete, practical actions to reinforce WASH and nutrition integration. Discussions around the results of a recent review2 focused on the systematic inclusion of interventions to improve household water quality in the package of activities accompanying the treatment of acute malnutrition. The results of the review were presented followed by the WASH’Nutrition strategy (developed in 2012 and consolidated by Action Against Hunger (ACF) and 17 organisations), generic protocols for community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) and on WASH activities related to water quality. Participants were divided into two working groups and asked to prioritise three key integrated activities at health facility level and three at community/ household level (Box 1) indicating one relevant indicator for each activity as well as barriers, opportunities and potential mitigation solutions. Each organisation then selected the activities they committed to implement in their programmes. In the form of a ‘Nantarre declaration’, participants committed to seek funding for and implement integrated WASH and nutrition projects and programmes to achieve nutrition security and make nutrition treatment more effective, efficient and sustainable. 

Box 1: Selected WASH and nutrition activities

Facility-level activities:

  1. Improve the water system in health facilities 
  2. Systematically coordinate delivery of household water treatment adapted to context with severe acute malnutrition management
  3. WASH experts train health staff to a) run the health centre water system and b) build caregivers capacity on the correct use of household water treatment products

Activities at community and household level:

  1. Develop behaviour change approaches on water treatment in areas covered by SAM treatment services
  2. Use of participatory methodology to select the most appropriate household water treatment method
  3. Information, knowledge and data sharing

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1 Conclusion of the R4ACT workshop and “Nanterre Declaration” endorsed by participating organisations, organised by Action Against Hunger, 22/11/2019, Nanterre, France.

2 See research snapshot in this issue of Field Exchange entitled “Impacts of WASH on acute malnutrition: from available scientific evidence to informed action

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Conclusion of the R4ACT workshop and ‘Nanterre Declaration’. Field Exchange 64, January 2021. p102. www.ennonline.net/fex/64/washnutritionr4actworkshop

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