World health organization

10 facts on children's environmental health

A young boy washes his hands with water from a tap
WHO/P. Merchez

Environmental factors are responsible for 88% of the 1.5 million annual child deaths year due to diarrhoea.

Diarrhoea is the second leading cause of death among children under five years old, with nearly one in five deaths due to diarrhoea. Around 88% of these deaths are attributable to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. Treating and safe storage of drinking water and washing hands can prevent diarrhoeal disease. Exclusive breastfeeding also helps prevent diarrhoeal disease among young children.

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