Water Sanitation Health

Water sanitation and hygiene for accelerating and sustaining progress on neglected tropical diseases: A global strategy 2015-2020

A health worker baths the limb of a woman infected with Lymphatic Filariasis in Orissa, India.
Sean Hawkey

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect over 1 billion people, causing chronic disability and death, primarily among the poorest of the world – the same people who often lack access to even the most basic water and sanitation services. Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is critical for the prevention and care of almost all the NTDs targeted for elimination and control. Greater collaboration is urgently needed if targets are to be met.

Tracking financing to drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene (TrackFin)

The UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) results indicate that there are substantial gaps in our understanding and tracking of financing to the WASH sector. Financial reporting is often insufficient to make sound and evidence-based planning and budgeting decisions. To help address the issue, WHO is leading the TrackFin initiative under the UN-Water GLAAS project.

Progress on sanitation and drinking-water: 2015 update and MDG assessment

African woman washing her hands
WHO/ Stéphane Saporito

2015 marks the end of the Millennium Development Goal period, and while the global target for drinking-water was met ahead of schedule, the target for sanitation was missed by nearly 700 million people. The new Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) update report presents final MDG assessments for countries, regions, and the world, as well as a reflection on changes in monitoring of water, sanitation and hygiene since 1990.

Sanitation safety planning

The Sanitation safety planning manual provides step-by-step guidance to assist in the implementation of the 2006 WHO Guidelines for Safe Use of Wastewater Excreta, and Greywater. The approach and tools may also be applied to all sanitary systems to ensure the system is managed to meet health objectives.

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About us

WHO works on aspects of water, sanitation and hygiene where the health burden is high, where interventions could make a major difference and where the present state of knowledge is poor. Our work is divided into six core activities:

  • Drinking-water quality management
  • Water supply and sanitation monitoring
  • Cholera surveillance and prevention
  • Water and sanitation in different settings
  • Water resources management
  • Other activities (including economic aspects, climate change, and the Millenium Development Goals).