Hygiene, Sanitation, and Water: Forgotten Foundations of Health

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Every year, around 2.4 million deaths worldwide (4.2% of all deaths) could be prevented if everyone practised appropriate hygiene and had good, reliable sanitation and drinking water. The majority of these deaths are children in developing countries dying from diarrhoea and subsequent malnutrition, and from other diseases attributable to malnutrition.
How is an opportunity to prevent so many deaths (and 6.6% of the global burden of disease in terms of disability-adjusted life years or DALYs failing to attract the attention of the international public health community?

This introductory paper to the PLoS Medicine series on water and sanitation develops the idea that these basic needs are the forgotten foundations of health.

See more and download the article

Bartram J, Cairncross S (2010) Hygiene, Sanitation, and Water: Forgotten Foundations of Health. PLoS Med 7(11): e1000367. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000367

Date: 12 June 2014