Achieving good health for all. Why water, sanitation and hygiene are crucial determinants of health
Ending extreme poverty in all its formsí should be the primary focus of the post-2015 framework and should encourage an integrated approach to tackling poverty, hunger and under-nutrition, ill-health and inequality, which recognises the interdependent nature of outcomes in each area.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are fundamental to health. Despite progress on child mortality, infectious diseases still pose the largest threat to the health of young children. An infection such as diarrhoea is the third biggest killer of children under five in Sub-Saharan Africa and almost 90% of cases of diarrhoea are caused by poor WASH . 50% of under-nutrition is due to lack of WASH , and under-nutrition is an underlying risk factor for around 30% of under-five deaths . Repeated episodes of diarrhoea can make under-nourished children predisposed to pneumonia . A lack of hygiene and sanitation and the associated diarrhoea also contributes to stunting and inhibited cognitive development in millions of children worldwide. Globally, 2.5 billion people still lack access to sanitation , causing water sources, homes and surrounding environments to become contaminated and contributing to poor health and preventable child deaths.
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