Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Good Sanitation Can Save Thousands Of Lives

Most of the time people ignore the matter of proper sanitation as it is an unglamorous issue. I mean who wants to talk about sanitation if issues like hunger and health are around? But good hygiene can save thousands of lives by reducing the amount of deaths from diarrhea. Children under five around the world are the most vulnerable to poor hygiene and inadequate sanitation, two of the major causes of diarrhoea. According to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the disease kills at least 1.2 million children under five each year, but with proper sanitation cases of diarrhoea in children under five can be reduced by a third.

In order to ensure the well-being of millions of people around the world, the United Nations launched the program “Sustainable sanitation: The Five-Year-Drive to 2015” yesterday as part of its goal of halving the proportion of the population without access to basic sanitation by 2015. The main message of the new drive is that sanitation is vital for health, brings dignity, equality and safety, represents a good economic investment and sustains clean environments.

Access to sanitation has been recognized by the UN as a human right, a basic service required to live a normal life. It can be noted that, some 2.6 billion people – or half the population in the developing world – still lack access to good sanitation. The drive will call for an end to open defecation, the most dangerous sanitation practice for public health which is being practiced by over 1.1 billion people worldwide.

-Nisha Noor