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Safer water, better health

WHO report that examines the health issues related to unsafe water, and how unsafe water accounts for 20% of the deaths in children upto the age of 14 years.

A few related points

Globally, improving water, sanitation and hygiene has the potential to prevent at least 9.1% of the disease burden (in disability-adjusted life years or DALYs, a weighted measure of deaths and disability), or 6.3% of all deaths (Table 1). Children, particularly those in developing countries, suffer a disproportionate share of this burden, as the fraction of total deaths or DALYs attributable to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene is more than 20% in children up to 14 years of age. This includes:

  • Diarrhoea: 1.4 mn preventable child deaths per year
  • Malnutrition: 860,000 preventable child deaths per year
  • Malaria: 0.5 mn preventable deaths every year
  • Infections: 2 bn intestinal nematode infections (infecting 1/3rd of the world's populations) could be prevented