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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Dangers of unsafe water and sanitation, WATERAID launch campaign


In Nigeria, nearly 52,000 newborn babies are believed to have died from sepsis, tetanus and other infections linked to dirty water and lack of hygiene in 2013 alone.
WATERAID has launched its new four-year "Healthy Start" campaign showing the devastating impact that a lack of safe water and sanitation has on the health of children in developing countries. The launch which was part of activities to mark the 2015 World Water Day, shows that annually, nearly half a million babies die in the first month of life because they are born into unhygienic conditions and one in five deaths of newborn babies in the developing world are caused by infections strongly linked to dirty water or unhygienic conditions.

 The World Health Organization, WHO, in a recent report, reveals that nearly half of hospitals and clinics in Africa do not have access to clean water. About 58 percent of healthcare facilities that have some access, only half are able to count on a safe and reliable supply of clean water.

WATERAID Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr Michael Ojo noted that "Being born into unhygienic conditions condemns too many babies in the Nigeria and the developing world to a tragically early and avoidable death and their parents to needless heartbreak. Tragically for these one in five babies who die in their first month in the developing world, just being washed in clean water and cared for in a clean environment by people who had washed their hands, could have prevented their untimely deaths"
Ojo said that "The ability to keep a hospital or clinic clean is such a fundamental basic requirement of health care that you have to question whether a facility without clean running water or basic sanitation can adequately serve its patients" . He appealed to the global community to commit to ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation by 2030 - which is an ambitious target but an achievable target.
"There must be individual and collective responsibility for ensuring hygienic conditions in health centres. We need everyone involved in leading and shaping health services to work together to ensure that the most vulnerable members of society do not have their life expectancy reduced to mere weeks because facilities are unable to meet the most basic standards of clean and safe care," he said.
World Water Day is a United Nations designated global day for action to illustrate the importance of water in our lives. In 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution recognising the human right to water and sanitation as "essential for the full enjoyment of the right to life"

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