Telling mothers they are putting their children's lives at risk is insulting and likely to result in wholesale rejection. Is there a better way of getting adults to change their behaviour?
Water and sanitation programmes aim to improve people's health, mainly by reducing the rates of intestinal infections such as diarrhoea and worms. Long-term benefits will only come about, however, if people change some of their water-use and hygiene-related habits. In recent years, this realization has stimulated a resurgence of interest in the study of hygiene behaviour: what is emerging?