Water and Sanitation
Diarrhea is more prevalent throughout the developing world largely due to the lower levels of access to safe drinking water and sanitation, along with poorer overall health, hygiene, and nutritional status. (UNICEF, WHO)
Sanitation and proper hygiene are crucial to diarrhea prevention. It is estimated that improved sanitation facilities can result in an average reduction in cases of diarrhea of more than one-third. Washing hands with soap has been found to reduce diarrhea by more than 40%. (UNICEF, WHO)
Halving the proportion of those globally without access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation by 2015 is estimated to result in 272 million more school attendance days a year. The value of deaths averted, based on discounted future earnings, would amount to US$ 3.6 billion a year. (WHO)
Only 63% of the world's population has access to improved sanitation - defined as a sanitation facility that ensures hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact. (Estimated with data from WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation.)
Improved sanitation facilities are estimated to result in an average reduction in cases of diarrhea of more than 33%. (UNICEF, WHO)
2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation; 1.1 billion still practice open defecation. (Estimated with data from WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation)
In developing countries, about 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.