Environmental Enteropathy in Timor-Leste

Environmental enteropathy (EE) is a subclinical condition caused by ingestion of faecal bacteria (in contaminated food and water) and the subsequent intestinal inflammation and enteric infection. These processes impair absorptive and barrier functions of the small intestine mucosa lining, causing growth to falter. Poor WASH has been associated with negative effects on child growth and development. It has recently been suggested that poor sanitation and hygiene cause stunting not only through diarrhoea, but also through the subclinical condition EE. In this sub-study we will conduct a cross-sectional assessment of EE status of approximately 500 children aged between 1 and 5 years of age, who were enrolled in a trial assessing the impact of community WASH and albendazole distribution on infections with intestinal worms.