According to the Centers for Disease Control,” 780 million people do not have access to an improved source”. An estimated 801,000 children under the age of 5, die from diarrhea every year. These are mostly children in developing countries. Diarrhea is caused by inadequate availability of water for hygiene, unsafe drinking water and lack of access to sanitation. I chose this topic concerning lack of access to healthy water because I have personally seen children die from water borne diseases both in India where I lived for 3 and a half years while studying for my under graduate degree and in Kenya where I was born.
Diseases such as trachoma ( an infectious disease that affects eyes and causes blindness), schistosomiasis (also known as bilharzia) are spread by contaminated water and affect children in the areas of the world that lack access to safe drinking water. These areas are mostly rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern and Eastern Asia. While researching this subject I found out that water sanitation and hygiene has the potential “to prevent at least 9.1% of the global disease burden and 6.3% of all deaths”. Most of these areas in Africa could do better if they could allocate more resources towards the digging of wells in the rural areas to provide clean water. I am sure this would help reduce the rate of infant mortality from preventable diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery and plethora of others.
I hope that the United Nations Millennium Development goal to “halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to improved drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015” comes to fruition. I have a great interest in Public health issues and I would like to help raise funds to build more wells and boreholes in the rural areas to help alleviate the problems that the people in these areas have. Having more wells and boreholes will also ensure that the girl child will be able to go to school and not stay home because she has to look for water for the family.