The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control have accumulated some devastating facts:
There are many, many facts related to the global sanitation epidemic, but only one truly matters...
An estimated 801,000 children younger than 5 years of age perish from diarrhea each year, mostly in developing countries. This amounts to 11% of the 7.6 million deaths of children under the age of five and means that about 2,200 children are dying every day as a result of diarrheal diseases
Studies show that improved sanitation reduces diarrhea death rates by a third. Diarrhea is a major killer and largely preventable: it is responsible for 1.5 million deaths every year, mostly among under-five children living in developing countries
Adequate sanitation encourages children to be at school, particularly girls. Access to latrines raises school attendance rates for children: an increase in girls’ enrolment can be attributed to the provision of separate, sanitary facilities.
The economic benefits of sanitation are persuasive. Every US$1 invested in improved sanitation, translates into an average return of US$9. Those benefits are experienced specifically by poor children and in the disadvantaged communities that need them most.
• In order to meet the United Nations' Millennium Development Goal 13 to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to improved drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015:
• An estimated 784 million people will need to gain access to an improved water source.
• An estimated 173 million people on average per year will need to begin using improved sanitation facilities (accounting for expected population growth) 2.
• Even if the United Nations' Millennium Development Goal 13 for improved drinking water and basic sanitation is reached by 2015, it will still leave:
• An estimated 790 million people (11% of the world’s population) without access to an improved water supply.
• An estimated 1.8 billion people (25% of the world’s population) without access to adequate sanitation 15.
2.6 billion people, or approximately 40 percent of the world population, do not have access to a toilet.
Lack of sanitation is a serious health risk and an affront to human dignity. It affects billions of people around the world, particularly the poor and disadvantaged. If the trend continues as currently projected, by 2015 there will be 2.7 billion people without access to basic sanitation.
In the wake of disasters as much as in every day life, public health interventions that secure adequate sanitation in communities prevent the spread of disease and save lives. They raise the quality of life for many, particularly women and girls who are often in charge of domestic tasks, and can face personal risks when they have to relieve themselves in the open.
Sanitation is a human right and a key component of primary prevention to ensure better health. Since its inception, WHO has recognized sanitation as vital to global health. Today, the Organization continues to help Member States improve sanitation status, respond to sanitation needs during emergencies and increase policies and actions that expand access to this basic service.
A CHILD DIES EVERY 15 SECONDS.
Much more to come on our philanthropic efforts worldwide to help 1 child at a time. Please come back soon and connect with us to receive regular reports, news and opportunities to help as we travel the globe to communicate the need for the basic human right for proper sanitation and clean water. We will have blogs and discussions, calendars of events so you can attend, profiles of our friends and sanitation soldiers making a difference.
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