PLoS Medicine: Poor sanitation and water kill more than two million children annually

poor-sanitationA new series published today in leading medical journal Public Library of Science Medicine reveals that poor sanitation, water and hygiene not only lead to more than two million children dying annually, but also result in a massive global disease burden.
Four papers released today in PLoS Medicine—the flagship medical journal of the open access publisher Public Library of Science— highlight how sanitation and water, along with better hygiene, are the “forgotten foundations of health”. The series asks how the opportunity to save so many lives is failing to attract the attention of the international health community.
The scale of this crisis and the burden it places on global health and development is ominous. Unsafe sanitation and drinking water, as well as hygiene, account for nearly 20 per cent of all child deaths in the world and at least 7 per cent of the total global disease burden. In 2010, almost one fifth of the world’s population still defecate in the open and 2.6 billion people do not have access to even a basic toilet.
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