Research conducted by WaterAid and PATH has revealed that, around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases as a result of poor water and sanitation.
That is almost 800 children a day or one child every two minutes. The report also hinted that, 2.3 billion people in the world not do have a decent toilet on their own.
The report also revealed that those who survive multiple bouts of diarrhea are left weakened and sometimes stunted, hence their long-term development and education is compromised.
The Head of Policy and Campaigns at WaterAid Mr. George Yorke, made this known during the launching the research report dubbed: “Coordinate, Integrate, Invest: How joint child health and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) interventions can deliver for your country’s future,” in Accra.
This he said, major health gains are possible if decision-makers coordinate, integrate and invest in child health and water, sanitation and hygiene measures.
“The also highlights examples of where countries are making good progress with integrating health, nutrition, water and sanitation efforts.
In Madagascar, for example, the government is using this kind of coordination to tackle high rates of malnutrition.
In Nepal, prompting good hygiene during health clinic visits for rotavirus vaccinations is improving parents’ knowledge and actions around food safety, handwashing and safe disposal of children’s faeces, while improving immunization coverage and helping to reach those families hardest to reach because of remote locations and poverty,” he stated.
According to him, combining clean water, decent household toilets and good hygiene with routine childhood vaccinations and nutrition support could potentially save the lives of as many as 697, 000 young children annually .
And also prevent billions of harmful bouts of diarrhoeal and pneumonia in under –fives each year.
“It is not just a matter of health but also a matter of wealth revealing that, for every US $1 invested in water and sanitation globally, there is a US $4.3 return in the form of reduced healthcare costs,” he stated.
It is in regard, WaterAid is working assiduously to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone.
WaterAid however, urged the government and donors to align child health and water, sanitation and hygiene programmes, policies also finance in order to help curb the unnecessary health crisis more effectively and efficiently.
Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 25.8 million people with clean water and 25.1 million people with decent toilets.
By: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh