Environmental Enteric Dysfunction

Environmental Enteric Dysfunction (EED), previously known as tropical enteropathy or environmental enteropathy, is an asymptomatic small intestinal disorder highly prevalent among children and adults living in tropical and sub-tropical countries. The condition, first described more than 60 years ago, is a consequence of sustained exposure to enteric pathogens due to unhygienic sanitary practices and consumption of contaminated food and water. Several studies suggest that EED results in impaired nutrient absorption and contributes to compromised growth in young children. Recent evidence confirms the negative impact of EED on childhood growth and neuro-cognitive development, particularly during the first two years of life. EED is also found to be associated with attenuated vaccine responses in children. A number of studies documented EED as an immediate causal factor of linear growth failure.

Since both EED and malnutrition are common in Bangladesh, it is imperative to inform the policy makers regarding the pathophysiology, diagnosis, implications, and potential therapeutic solutions of EED. Therefore, a desk review has been conducted to come up with a policy brief

Policy brief on “Poor water, sanitation and hygiene are causes of environmental enteric dysfunction that results in childhood stunting