BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Health and Water Shortage



Let’s begin with some global facts about water from different sources- World Health Organization, United Nations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, WaterAid and World Bank!

  • Between 50 and 100 liters of water are needed daily by each person in order to meet most basic needs which include 2 liters for drinking.
  • About 884 million people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water and up to 2.6 billion people lack access to basic sanitation- 40% of the world’s population.
  • At least 1.8 billion people use drinking water sources that are contaminated with feces.
  • Contaminated water causes up to 502,000 deaths due to diarrhea yearly and chiefly transmits other diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.
  • Without water focused interventions, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas by 2025.
  • Guinea Worm Disease and Trachoma are severe infections spread through contaminated water. The former is characterized by worms emerging from the body through blisters on the skin while Trachoma is the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness, affecting up to 41 million people.
  • Arsenic in drinking water is a major public health threat. In Bangladesh, about 100,000 cases of skin lesions have been caused by arsenic.
  • Approximately 30 million people suffer from chronic fluorosis in China alone.
  • Nearly 75,000 deaths of children under the age of five in Nigeria can be traced to poor access to water.

Heard enough? Well, I thought so. Thing is… the daily life (and health) of human beings, animals and plants is dependent on water. In addition, water shortage cannot be separated from two other inter-related factors – sanitation and health. This is because water shortage can force people to use unclean and unsafe water despite the consequences. Interventions for tackling the challenge of water shortage include providing more boreholes and other water sources while the health consequences of contaminated water can be averted by education and campaigns about basic hygiene practices.

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