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The lack of safe water and sanitation

The shortage of clean water is the main cause of disease in the world...

Some 4,500 children die every day for lack of clean water and basic sanitation. Many others suffer from poor health, and their ability to benefit from educational services is compromised.

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In 2002, 42% of households worldwide lacked toilets and one in six people had no access to potable water.

Mortality in children is particularly high. Some 4,500 children die every day for lack of clean water and basic sanitation. Many others suffer from poor health, their performance has been decreased and lost the opportunity to receive an education.

Diseases caused by water prevent children from going to school. A study on Jamaican students between 9 and 12 years reported that children suffering trichuriasis (a disease transmitted by water) attended class half as many days as peers who were not infected. Cholera, typhoid, dysentery, polio, meningitis and hepatitis A and B are some of the diseases that are commonly transmitted by water.

An improvement in the drinking water in homes can reduce diarrhea episodes by 39%; on average, the improvement of health services in homes can reduce diarrheal disease another third. Almost half of the nearly 2 million deaths from diarrhea could be prevented with a better understanding of basic hygiene.

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