By depicting country-by-country estimates of the burden of disease due to water, sanitation and hygiene this new WHO report highlights how much disease could be prevented through increased access to safe water and better hygiene.
It provides the epidemiological evidence and economic arguments for fully integrating water, sanitation and hygiene in countries’ disease reduction strategies — a pre-requisite to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It also provides the basis for preventive action by all relevant sectors managing critical water resources and services in support of public health efforts.
From the Introduction:
“This document summarizes the most recent water-related findings on global health impacts; presents recent information on effective interventions ; summarizes information from economic evaluations; and describes recent insights on financing.
The global health impacts presented are based on both rigorous assessments (for diarrhoea, trachoma, schistosomiasis and intestinal nematode infections) and reviews of expert opinion (all other addressed diseases). The scientific rigor of the estimates based on expert opinion is not at the same level as that of the estimates based on rigorous assessments; nevertheless, the opinion-based estimates are the best ones currently available”.
Prüss-Üstün , A. … [et al]. (2008). Safer water, better health : costs, benefits and sustainability of interventions to protect and promote health. Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization. 53 p.