Water Sanitation: A Global Health Issue

316 words | 2 page(s)

Water is one of the most important resources necessary to sustain life. Not only do humans need water to survive, they need a clean and safe water. This is especially true for mothers and youngest, most fragile members of the planet. Providing clean, safe water, and educating the population about the importance of sanitary practices. One of the most important global health issues is water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). The following explores five “most know” facts about water and sanitation among impoverished populations of the world.

The first must know fact is that diarrhea caused 1.4 million deaths among children in 2002 due to contaminated water supply (Pruss-Ustun, Bos, Gore, & Bartram, 2008). Providing a safe water supply and basic sanitation reduced these unnecessary deaths by nearly 30 percent (Pruss-Ustun, Bos, Gore, & Bartram, 2008). Of the interventions, education about sanitation and the importance of a proper water supply was found to be the most cost effective intervention in preventing these diseases (Varley, Tarvid, & Chao, 1998).

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The second must know fact is the cost effective interventions must meet the criteria of addressing a major health burden, having an individual level of efficacy, and be scalable to the level needed (Shelton, 2011). The third must know fact is that the most effective intervention to provide safe water in developing nations only costs one dollar per day (Yarney, 2007). The fourth must know fact is that at source treatment effectively reduce deaths from sanitation (Fewtrell, Kaufmann, & Enanoria, et al, 2005). These interventions include chemical treatment, boiling, pasteurization, and solar disinfecting.

The fifth must know fact is clean water and sanitation is a social equalizer (Selendy, 2011). These must know facts highlight the importance of the problem of water quality and sanitation. They also highlight the simplicity and cost effectiveness of the measures to bring clean water to the world. Simple measures can make a big impact on reducing deaths caused by poor sanitation among women and children in developing nations.

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