Tag Archives: World Health Organization

“The cost of a polluted environment: 1.7 million child deaths a year…”

A recent news release from the World Health Organization delivers some sobering data on the literal death toll a polluted environment can deal to children.

“More than 1 in 4 deaths of children under 5 years of age are attributable to unhealthy environments. Every year, environmental risks – such as indoor and outdoor air pollution, second-hand smoke, unsafe water, lack of sanitation, and inadequate hygiene – take the lives of 1.7 million children under 5 years”

Pretty staggering to say the least.

It’s also old news that has, unfortunately over time, progressively gotten worse. It should be no grand mystery that our propensity to pollute our environment is having an adverse effect on our children’s development or life spans. There is hope though.

By developing and following SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals) countries are coming up with standards that can universally be followed showing positive results.

“Under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) countries are working on a set of targets to guide interventions for children’s environmental health, as well as to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under five by 2030.”

The news release is filled with statistics as well as an excellent infographic (click the first slide above to access that). Click here to read the news release in its entirety.

It’s a Killer!

Open DefecationDiarrhoea kills. Yes, diarrhoea. In 2014, why does diarrhoea still kill so many… especially children? Diarrhoea kills more than TB and malaria combined.

The research collaborative led by the World Health Organization (WHO) recently released information about the burden of diarrhoea and the links to water and sanitation.

This update on the global WSH monitoring report notes that an estimated 842,000 diarrhoea deaths in low and middle-income countries are attributed to poor water, sanitation and hygiene. Based on these numbers, the lack of safe water and sanitation is responsible for up to 1.5% of the total disease burden, and over 58% of diarrhoea disease. In children under five years of age, an estimated 361,000 deaths are linked to diarrhoea, which represents over 5.5% of deaths for children under five.

This burden of disease analysis for over 145 countries is published in the of journal Tropical Medicine & International Health and draws upon the WHO collaborative and their updates on progress to address water and sanitation needs.

This updated data and analysis reconfirms the importance of investments in safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene. Such monitoring and reporting is critical to understanding, to highlighting inequities, as well as informing policy and investment decision-making to help prioritize interventions that can help to close these gaps in water and sanitation coverage.

It is data like this that drives us. It is our why. It is why our reinvent the toilet program is important. Better toilets are aspirational for many families. Better toilets for a cleaner world can also save men, women and children’s lives.