The Aid & International Development Forum has released an infographic that explores health and WASH in sub-Saharan East Africa. Safe and accessible water is important for public health. Improved water supply and sanitation, and better management of water resources, can boost regions’ economic growth as well as contributing greatly to poverty reduction.
Safe drinking water
The AIDF infographic highlights the significant gap between sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world in regards to water. 319 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are without access to improved reliable drinking water sources, which is the equivalent of the entire population of the USA. In addition, 40 billion hours are lost every year in sub-Saharan Africa collecting water, which is equal to a whole year’s worth of labour by France’s entire work force!
Alarmingly, it has been projected that by the year 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas.
Access to adequate sanitation is also lacking. Approximately 2.4 billion people worldwide do not have access to a toilet. Additionally, 695 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live without sanitation and only 30% of the region has access to sanitation facilities.
Contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to the transmission of diseases such as diarrhoea, which is the second leading cause of child mortality, accounting for the loss of 2,195 children every day. Absent or inadequate water and sanitation services expose individuals to preventable health risks. This is particularly the case in healthcare facilities where such services are lacking, placing additional risk of infection and disease on patients and staff. In low and middle-income countries 38% of healthcare facilities lack any water source and 35% do not have water and soap for hand washing.
Hear more about health and WASH innovation and challenges at the 2nd annual Aid & Development Africa Summit, on 28 February-1 March in Nairobi, Kenya. During the two-day summit, international and regional experts will gather to discuss the latest technological innovations, initiatives and best practices providing an opportunity for knowledge exchange and networking amongst public, private and civil society stakeholders. For more information about the event and to register, please visit africa.aidforum.org
The infographic was created in partnership with B Medical Systems, leading provider of innovative refrigeration and storage solutions for safe transport and management of blood products and vaccines.