A recent study conducted by United Nations (UN) on 16 nations caught up in emergencies, highlights that children under 5 years of age are 20 times more likely to die from a water borne illness than from war.
According to the report, every year, some 72,000 under-five die annually from illnesses linked to WASH- unsafe water, hygiene facilities and sanitation, compared to 3,400 from war-related violence.
Some of the prominent nations that UNICEF studied for the data included names such as Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The report highlights the fact that children are “the most vulnerable” and face a multitude of threats linked to a lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene services. These include malnutrition and preventable diseases including diarrhea, typhoid, cholera and polio.
In addition, girls specifically struggle to manage menstrual hygiene and miss lessons during menstruation, if their schools have no suitable water and sanitation facilities.
UNICEF notes that “Far too often, essential services are intentionally denied”, citing “how attacks on water networks cut services for weeks at a time, forcing children to fetch water in extreme temperatures.”
Image Credits – Global Public Square
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