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Around the globe, diarrheal disease causes millions of preventable deaths each year, with most in children zero to five years old. The transmission of disease follows a pathway in which fecal parts are spread to human hosts through fluids, tactile contact, flies, the environment, living quarters, and food. There are several barriers that can inhibit this transmission, with sanitation functioning primarily, while hygiene and potable water supply function as secondary barriers. A large amount of research has been done concerning the effectiveness of
various water, hygiene, and sanitation interventions in preventing this transmission and thus lowering diarrheal morbidity across the world. In 2005, Lorna Fewtrell and her colleagues published a comprehensive meta-analysis of all the research studies published on this topic from 1970-2003. The goal of this paper is to update their findings by qualitatively analyzing the results of relevant publications from June 2003 to 2011. It compares and contrasts the results of such interventions to the reported findings by Fewtrell et al. in order to find trends in the effectiveness of certain types of interventions and the distribution of research across the world. The findings of this paper conclude that all types of interventions can be successful in lowering diarrheal rates, and that more implementation of interventions is necessary in order to eventually provide universal access to increased sanitation and potable water. The dismal amount of sanitation interventions, along with the absence of water quantity interventions and research studies performed in Oceania since 2003, highlight the crucial necessity for more research in these areas.