Matthew C Freeman

Matthew C Freeman
Emory University | EU · Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

MPH, PhD

About

211
Publications
92,484
Reads
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8,479
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - present
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
January 2006 - December 2011
Emory University

Publications

Publications (211)
Article
Full-text available
Despite China's rapid progress improving water, sanitation and hygiene (WSH) access, in 2011, 471 million people lacked access to improved sanitation and 401 million to household piped water. Because certain infectious diseases are sensitive to changes in both climate and WSH conditions, we projected impacts of climate change on WSH-attributable di...
Article
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Background: Soil-transmitted helminths (STH) - a class of parasites that affect billions of people - can be mitigated using mass drug administration, though reinfection following treatment occurs within a few months. Improvements to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) likely provide sustained benefit, but few rigorous studies have evaluated the s...
Article
Objective: To estimate the global prevalence of handwashing with soap and derive a pooled estimate of the effect of hygiene on diarrhoeal diseases, based on a systematic search of the literature. Methods: Studies with data on observed rates of handwashing with soap published between 1990 and August 2013 were identified from a systematic search o...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding geographic inequalities in coverage of drinking-water supply and sanitation (WSS) will help track progress towards universal coverage of water and sanitation by identifying marginalized populations, thus helping to control a large number of infectious diseases. This paper uses household survey data to develop comprehensive maps of WSS...
Article
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Background: Trachoma is the world's leading cause of infectious blindness. The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed the SAFE strategy in order to eliminate blindness due to trachoma by 2020 through "surgery," "antibiotics," "facial cleanliness," and "environmental improvement." While the S and A components have been widely implemented, evi...
Article
Full-text available
Water security requires not only sufficient availability of and access to safe and acceptable quality for domestic uses, but also fair distribution within and across populations. However, a key research gap remains in understanding water security inequality and its dynamics, which in turn creates an impediment to tracking progress towards sustainab...
Article
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Introduction: While many studies have implemented programs to increase sanitation coverage throughout the world, there are limited rigorous studies on the sustainability of these sanitation programs. Methods: Between 2014 and 2018, the rural Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) approach was implemented by SNV in sub-Saharan Africa an...
Article
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Background: Estimates of the effectiveness of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions that provide high levels of service on childhood diarrhoea are scarce. We aimed to provide up-to-date estimates on the burden of disease attributable to WASH and on the effects of different types of WASH interventions on childhood diarrhoea in low-inc...
Article
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Background: It is estimated that 1.5 billion people are infected with soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) worldwide. Re-infection occurs rapidly following deworming, and interruption of transmission is unlikely without complementary control efforts such as improvements in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) access and behaviours. Objectives: To...
Article
Background Interventions aimed at improving dietary intake and feeding practices have alone proven insufficient for combatting stunting resulting from poor nutrition and repeated infections. Objectives To support the development of an integrated water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and nutrition social and behavior change strategy aimed at reduci...
Article
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Rapid urbanization, resulting in population growth within informal settlements, has worsened exclusion and inequality in access to water and sanitation (WASH) services in the poorest and most marginalized communities. In this study, we describe the heterogeneity in water service satisfaction and WASH access in low-income, peri-urban neighborhoods o...
Article
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Background Safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) is important for health, livelihoods, and economic development, but WaSH programs have often underdelivered on expected health benefits. Underperformance has been attributed partly to poor ability to retain effectiveness following adaptation to facilitate WaSH programs' implementation in diverse...
Preprint
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Introduction Childhood vaccination is an effective intervention for lowering the burden of infectious disease. Progress was made to increase coverage globally, but vaccine hesitancy and refusal has threatened to erode said increases. The 5C psychological antecedents of vaccination (“5C”) model provides a validated measure of “vaccine hesitancy or c...
Article
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ABSTRACT Introduction Increases in global childhood vaccine delivery have led to decreases in morbidity from vaccinepreventable diseases. However, these improvements in vaccination have been heterogeneous, with some countries demonstrating greater levels of change and sustainability. Understanding what these high-performing countries have done diff...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction The essential components of a vaccine delivery system are well-documented, but robust evidence on how and why the related processes and implementation strategies prove effective at driving coverage is not well-established. To address this gap, we identified critical success factors associated with advancing key policies and programs th...
Article
Adaptations are modifications made to programming to improve effectiveness or contextual fit, and are important for program improvement. However, adaptations can be detrimental if they do not preserve an intervention's underlying theory of change. We present a case study of 45 adaptations made to rural WaSH programming in Nepal, identified through...
Preprint
Introduction The essential components of a vaccine delivery system are well-documented, but robust evidence on how and why the related processes and implementation strategies drive catalytic improvements in vaccination coverage are not well established. To address this gap, we identified critical success factors that may have led to substantial imp...
Preprint
Full-text available
Rapid urbanization, resulting in population growth within informal settlements, has worsened exclusion and inequality in access to water and sanitation (WASH) services in the poorest and most marginalized communities. In this study, we describe the heterogeneity in water service satisfaction and WASH access in low-income, peri-urban neighborhoods o...
Preprint
Full-text available
BACKGROUND The essential components of a vaccine delivery system are well-documented, but robust evidence is lacking on how policies and implementation strategies are operationalized to drive catalytic improvements in coverage. To address this gap, we identified success factors that supported improvements in routine immunization coverage in Senegal...
Article
Full-text available
Behaviors related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are key drivers of infectious disease transmission, and experiences of WASH are potential influencers of mental well-being. Important knowledge gaps exist related to the content and delivery of effective WASH programs and their associated health impacts, particularly within the contexts of...
Article
Full-text available
Background WHO promotes the SAFE strategy for the elimination of trachoma as a public health programme, which promotes surgery for trichiasis (ie, the S component), antibiotics to clear the ocular strains of chlamydia that cause trachoma (the A component), facial cleanliness to prevent transmission of secretions (the F component), and environmental...
Preprint
Full-text available
Introduction - Increases in global childhood vaccine delivery have led to decreases in morbidity from vaccine-preventable diseases. However, these improvements in vaccination have been heterogeneous, with some countries demonstrating greater levels of change and sustainability. Understanding what these high-performing countries have done differentl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Introduction New vaccines, technologies, and regulations, alongside increased demand for vaccines, all require prioritization and coordination from key players within the vaccine sector. Inter-agency Coordinating Committees (ICC) are forums used to support decision-making and coordination at the national-level and act as key drivers for sustainable...
Preprint
Full-text available
Introduction The essential components of a vaccine delivery system are well-documented, but robust evidence on how and why the related processes and implementation strategies prove effective at driving coverage is not well-established. To address this gap, we identified critical success factors associated with advancing key policies and programs th...
Article
Objective: To determine whether a water, sanitation and hygiene intervention could change hygiene behaviours thought to be important for trachoma control. Methods: We conducted a cluster-randomized trial in rural Ethiopia from 9 November 2015 to 5 March 2019. We randomized 20 clusters to an intervention consisting of water and sanitation infrast...
Article
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Household survey data from 27 sites in 22 countries were collected in 2017–2018 in order to construct and validate a cross-cultural household-level water insecurity scale. The resultant Household Water Insecurity Experiences (HWISE) scale presents a useful tool for monitoring and evaluating water interventions as a complement to traditional metrics...
Preprint
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BACKGROUND: Few countries are likely to achieve universal sanitation within the next decade as sustaining sanitation coverage remains a critical challenge. The purpose of this study is to investigate factors that may have supported or hindered sustainability of sanitation coverage 1-2 years after the completion of an integrated, area-wide sanitatio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Introduction: While many studies have implemented programs to increase sanitation coverage throughout the world, there are limited rigorous studies on the sustainability of these sanitation programs. Methods: Between 2014 and 2018, the rural Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) approach was implemented by SNV in Sub-Saharan Africa and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Behaviors related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are key drivers of infectious disease transmission, and experiences of WASH are potential influencers of mental well-being. Important knowledge gaps exist related to the content and delivery of effective WASH programs and their associated health impacts, particularly within the c...
Article
Introduction Women's active participation is important for inclusive water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) programs, yet gender roles that limit women's access to formal education and employment may reduce their skills, experience, and capacity for implementation. This paper explores differences between men and women implementers of rural WaSH prog...
Article
Full-text available
While routine immunisation (RI) was among the health services most affected during the earlier phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, country programmes employed various mitigation strategies to maintain vaccine delivery and/or resume interrupted programming. Perspectives from Nepal, Senegal and Liberia highlight six key components of addressing COVID-1...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Routine immunisation is a cost-effective way to save lives and protect people from disease. Some low-income countries (LIC) achieved remarkable success in childhood immunisation. Yet, previous studies comparing the relationship between economic growth and health spending with vaccination coverage have been limited. We investigated thes...
Preprint
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted multifaceted disruptions to routine immunisation from global to local levels, affecting every aspect of vaccine supply, access, and demand. Since March 2020, country programmes have implemented a range of strategies to either continue vaccination services during COVID-19 measures like ‘lockdown’ and/or resume ser...
Article
In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a set of public guidelines for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) prevention measures that highlighted handwashing, physical distancing, and household cleaning. These health behaviors are severely compromised in parts of the world that lack secure water supplies, particularly in low- and mi...
Article
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Introduction Facial hygiene promotion and environmental improvements are central components of the global trachoma elimination strategy despite a lack of experimental evidence supporting the effectiveness of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) measures for reducing trachoma transmission. The objective of the WUHA (WASH Upgrades for Health in Amhar...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Routine childhood immunization is a cost-effective way to save lives and protect people from disease. Some low-income countries (LIC) have achieved remarkable success in childhood immunization, despite lower levels of gross national income or health spending compared to other countries. We investigated the impact of financing and health...
Article
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Introduction Growth shortfalls and diarrhoeal diseases remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality in low-income settings. Due to the multifaceted causes of undernutrition and the identified limitations of siloed nutrition programmes, improving the delivery of integrated water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) and nutrition programming could improve...
Article
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Infections with enteric pathogens impose a heavy disease burden, especially among young children in low-income countries. Recent findings from randomized controlled trials of water, sanitation and hygiene interventions have raised questions about current methods for assessing environmental exposure to enteric pathogens. Approaches for estimating so...
Article
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There are considerable challenges to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’ target of universal access to basic sanitation in schools. Schools require safe, clean, and sex-segregated facilities for a large number of students. Robust and affordable solutions are needed to address the economic, spatial, social, institutional, and political fact...
Article
Recently developed scales aim to advance understanding of household water insecurity and inform interventions to address this critical global problem. The relative severity of items included in household water insecurity scales has been established as an inverse of the proportion of the population that reports experiencing the item. Here, we assess...
Article
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Personal hygiene practices, including facewashing and handwashing, reduce transmission of pathogens, but are difficult to measure. Using color theory principles, we developed and tested a novel metric that generates quantitative measures of facial and hand cleanliness, proxy indicators of personal hygiene practices. In this cross-sectional study, c...
Article
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Though the health risks associated with poor access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are well established, recent large-scale WASH trials have found limited impact on enteric disease. The aims of this study were to: 1. estimate the prevalence of enteropathogens among children <5, school-aged children, and adults; 2. model associations betwe...
Article
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Few rural sanitation programs have documented large increases in sanitation coverage or have assessed if interventions equitably increase sanitation coverage for vulnerable groups. We characterize the impact of the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) approach on key program WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) indicators, and also a...
Article
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Exposure to fecal pathogens contributes to childhood diarrhea and stunting, causing harmful short- and long-term impacts to health. Understanding pathways of child fecal exposure and nutritional deficiencies is critical to informing interventions to reduce stunting. Our aim was to explore determinants of latrine use, disposal of child feces, and pe...
Article
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Background: Child stunting, an indicator of chronic malnutrition, is a global public health problem. Malnutrition during pregnancy and the first 2 years of life undermines the survival, growth, and development of children. Exposure to fecal pathogens vis-à-vis inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) has been implicated in the etiology of...
Article
ABSTRACT Introduction Routine childhood immunization is a cost-effective way to save lives and protect people from disease. Some low-income countries (LIC) have achieved remarkable success in childhood immunization. Yet, previous studies comparing the relationship between economic growth and increases in health spending with vaccine coverage have b...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Three large new trials of unprecedented scale and cost, which included novel factorial designs, have found no effect of basic water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions on childhood stunting, and only mixed effects on childhood diarrhea. Arriving at the inception of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, and the bol...
Experiment Findings
Background: Open defecation is widespread in rural India, and few households have piped water connections. While government and other efforts have increased toilet coverage in India, and evaluations found limited immediate impacts on health, longer-term effects have not been rigorously assessed. Methods: We conducted a matched cohort study to asses...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Open defecation is widespread in rural India, and few households have piped water connections. While government and other efforts have increased toilet coverage in India, and evaluations found limited immediate impacts on health, longer-term effects have not been rigorously assessed. Methods: We conducted a matched cohort study to as...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in schools is promoted by development agencies as a modality to improve school attendance by reducing illness. Despite biological plausibility, the few rigorous studies that have assessed the effect of WASH in schools (WinS) interventions on pupil health and school attendance have reported mixed im...
Article
Full-text available
Background Unimproved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) behaviors are key drivers of infectious disease transmission and influencers of mental well-being. While WASH is seen as a critical enabler of health, important knowledge gaps related to the content and delivery of effective, holistic WASH programming exist. Corresponding impacts of WASH o...
Article
Full-text available
The transmission soil transmitted helminths (STH) occurs via ingestion of or contact with infective stages present in soil contaminated with human faeces. It follows therefore that efforts to reduce faecal contamination of the environment should help to reduce risk of parasite exposure and improvements in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are se...
Article
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Background: Humans are susceptible to over 1400 pathogens. Co-infection by multiple pathogens is common, and can result in a range of neutral, facilitative, or antagonistic interactions within the host. Soil-transmitted helminths (STH) are powerful immunomodulators, but evidence of the effect of STH infection on the direction and magnitude of conc...
Article
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Background: To develop updated estimates in response to new exposure and exposure-response data of the burden of diarrhoea, respiratory infections, malnutrition, schistosomiasis, malaria, soil-transmitted helminth infections and trachoma from exposure to inadequate drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene behaviours (WASH) with a focus on low- and m...
Article
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Background Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) and schistosome infections are among the most prevalent neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the world. School-aged children are particularly vulnerable to these chronic infections that can impair growth, nutritional status and cognitive ability. Mass drug administration (MDA) delivered either once or twi...
Article
Full-text available
Adequate provision of safe water, basic sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities and behavior change can reduce pupil absence and infectious disease. Increased drinking water quantity may also improve educational outcomes through the effect of hydration on attention, concentration, and short-term memory. A pilot study was conducted to adapt field...