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Facts and figures: Water, sanitation and hygiene links to health

"Water and Sanitation is one of the primary drivers of public health. I often refer to it as “Health 101”, which means that once we can secure access to clean water and to adequate sanitation facilities for all people, irrespective of the difference in their living conditions, a huge battle against all kinds of diseases will be won."
Dr LEE Jong-wook, Director-General, World Health Organization.





Intestinal helminths (Ascariasis, Trichuriasis, Hookworm disease)

Japanese encephalitis

Hepatitis A



Driving forces

Access to water supply and sanitation

The sanitation gap

Emergencies and disasters

Water resources development

The global response

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

By including water supply, sanitation and hygiene in the MDGs, the world community has acknowledged the importance of their promotion as development interventions and has set a series of goals and targets.

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

Water for Life Decade: 2005-2015

Salient quotes

*All figures are best available estimates as of March 2004

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