Aug 24, 2009 | 6
Perhaps it's somehow easier to talk about infectious disease than toilets. But the unfortunate truth is that more children die every year from illnesses caused by poor water and sanitation than from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.
Bindeshwar Pathak has made it his life's mission to do something about it. Over the last four decades, the Indian doctor has replaced open-air defecation and bucket toilets seen—and smelled—throughout his country, reports the AFP. Last week, he was awarded the 2009 Stockholm Water Prize for his life- and water-saving toilet called the Sulabh, which means "easily available" in Hindi.
Dec 12, 2008
Staggering numbers of Zimbabweans are at risk of cholera, following the deaths of 775 people and infections among more than 16,000 since August, World Health Organization officials report. Half of the country’s 12 million people could be exposed to the disease, which is spread through contaminated food or water and poor sanitation, and an estimated 60,000 are believed to be at risk of contracting it.
The outbreak reflects a stark decline in health in Zimbabwe since last year, when there were just 65 cases of cholera and four deaths, according to WHO statistics. Basic government services in the country, including the provision of water and garbage collection, have collapsed under President Robert Mugabe, who insisted yesterday that the epidemic is over, today’s New York Times notes. The disease has spilled into neighboring South Africa, where 460 cases and nine deaths have been reported.
Nov 11, 2008 | 1
Human displacement and the accompanying decline in sanitation is often a recipe for a disease outbreak, and the latest fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is no different. The crowding and lack of safe drinking water in refugee camps could spark a cholera outbreak there, where 250,000 people are now refugees, health authorities say.
There have been at least 1,000 cases of the diarrheal disease in the region since the beginning of October, and more could occur if sanitation isn’t improved in the camps, the Associated Press is reporting today. Aid groups have diagnosed at least 90 cholera cases around the provincial capital of Goma since Friday, according to the AP. But almost a million people in the eastern DRC are at risk for water-borne diseases, the World Health Organization (WHO) said last week.
Nov 6, 2008 | 2
If you care about global health, sanitation or just clean water, then you'll care about the eighth annual World Toilet Summit and Expo in Macau, China. This conference of the World Toilet Organization (not to be confused with that other WTO) aims to figure out how to get some form of sanitation to the planet's 2.5 billion people—more than one in three— who do not have proper toilets.
The lack of such basic facilities leads to contamination of food and water, disease, and a host of other environmental and health problems. The solution may seem simple, but it’s not: the developed world's flush toilets will not work in areas where water is scarce.
Aug 18, 2008 | 4
The world is getting thirstier, and drier. More than 2,500 experts from around the world will discuss the issues facing one of the world's most precious natural resources at World Water Week this week in Stockholm, from the millions of gallons of water hidden inside biofuels to the ongoing scandal of poor sanitation.
As our in-depth report on the subject notes, 20 percent of the world's population already can't get enough water. Americans aren't helping things by guzzling 400 liters (106 gallons) on average every day, compared to 200 liters (53 gallons) for the average European and just 10 liters (3 gallons) per day for the rest of the world.
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