Basic sanitation facilities, clean water supplies, and hygienic behaviors are foundations of public health. Hundreds of millions still lack basic access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), which is responsible for diarrheal diseases, acute respiratory infections, soil-transmitted helminth infections, trachoma, schistosomiasis, and poor growth and nutrition. Diarrheal diseases are one of the leading causes of under-five mortality in the world. Water and sanitation insecurity disproportionately impacts the urban and rural poor, as well as women and girls.
Emory is a global leader in the field of WASH. Faculty in the Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health have substantial expertise in environmental reservoirs and transmission pathways of water- and soil-borne pathogens, and evaluation of interventions to improve WASH conditions. The Rollins School of Public Health is home to the Center for Global Safe WASH (CGSW), founded in 2004 through the support and generosity of Dr. Eugene J. and Rose Gangarosa. Emory is also a founding member of the Atlanta Consortium for Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, a group of academic (Emory, Georgia Institute of Technology), non-profit (CARE USA, Carter Center), and government (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) partners with a significant history of collaboration on major projects and WASH research.
Students at Rollins have many opportunities to pursue WASH-related research and practicum projects outside the classroom by working with faculty and partner organizations to implement, maintain, and evaluated WASH-related programs in both domestic and international contexts. Emory is the only School of Public Health to offer a Certificate in WASH studies, a rigorous, self-guided certificate program that aims to increase the competitiveness of RSPH students for WASH-related careers.