Water and sanitation, the key elements of hygiene against childhood diarrhea
More than 340,000 children die each year from diarrhea. In addition to unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene practices, there is a lack of awareness of the health risks associated with these deficiencies. The short film Thought of Water, afinalist of the We Art Water Film Festival 5, explains one of the most common causes: children share the water of a pond with animals and their own feces. The eradication of childhood diarrhea will be a sure sign of the achievement of SDG 6.
In resource-poor countries, childhood diarrhea is endemic in areas without access to clean water.
In the six minutes it will take you to read this article, four children under the age of five will have died worldwide from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water, poor sanitation, or poor hygiene practices. That's 345,000 child deaths each year, almost all in resource-poor countries. WHO data place these diseases —generally grouped under the term "diarrhea"— as the third leading cause of death in children under five worldwide, after problems during childbirth and pneumonia.
Childhood diarrhea is one of the worst consequences of non-compliance with SDG 6. As well as destroying children's lives, it causes enormous pain for families, condemns millions of children to chronic malnutrition, prevents them from attending school, and is a burden on the development of the communities that suffer from it. In resource-poor countries, children experience an average of three episodes of diarrhea per year. Each time, children are exposed to severe dehydration, which, combined with malnutrition and the medical neglect that often accompanies their condition, can lead to death.
When there is no clean water, they drink any water
In resource-poor countries, childhood diarrhea is endemic in areas without access to clean water. The short film Thought of Water shows how Tanzanian children share the water in a pond with animals; a pond in which they defecate. 110 million people in the world consume surface water in rivers, streams, ponds, or lakes, and four million people (children and adults) die every year from drinking this water without any health control.
Thought of Water, by Redbird, finalist at the We Art Water Film Festival 5
We continue helping and moving forward
In each of our aid projects you will find how we apply solutions in the most unfavorable contexts of access to water, sanitation and hygiene. You will see the direct link between the difficulty of access to water and the lack of sanitation, which prevent any hygienic practice. In our Manual for the construction of latrines and wells, which brings together our experience in sanitation projects around the world, you will see the specifications required to ensure health in latrines. In our projects, you will discover the severity of a problem that undermines the human rights, development and dignity of millions of people worldwide.
Children are the primary humanitarian foundation for the future of water, sanitation and hygiene culture. They hold the hope of achieving the SDGs and moving beyond 2030 in the face of an uncertain future. Diarrhea must not hold them back.