Prevalence_of_Diarrhea_Africa.jpgWater-Borne Diseases


Water-related diseases are among the most common causes of illness and death among developing countries. The health impact of poor quality water supply and sanitation services and water-related diseases is devastating. At any given time, close to half the people in the developing world are suffering from one or more of the main diseases associated with inadequate provision of water supply and sanitation services: diarrhea, ascaris, dracunculiasis (guinea worm), hoodworm, schistosomiasis (bilharziar, or snail fever), and trachoma. More than half of the hospital beds in the world are filled with people suffering from water-related diseases. Billions of cases of diarrhea each year cause 1.6 million deaths, the vast majority among children under five, mostly in developing countries. 88 percent of diarrheal disease is attributed to unsafe water supply or inadequate sanitation and hygiene.

In the MV Sim, a person's chances of contracting a water-born disease go up with a lack of enough water and go down with good health, or if the village has a water pump and/or latrines.

For more information, see:
United Nations and World Water Assessment Programme. 2003. UN World Water Development Report: Water for People, Water for Life. UNESCO.

World Health Organization. 2004. "Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Links to Health: Facts and Figures." Geneva.

UN Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation