ASIA/INDIA - The lack of water and sanitation cause preventable diseases in children

Monday, 18 January 2016 healthcare  

Adam Cohn

Bangalore (Agenzia Fides) - Coupled with the so called El Nino of 2015 that washed out the critical southwest monsoons in the southwest of the Country, the resultant deficit in water supply caused water borne diseases to flourish among children in Karnataka. The deficit in water and sanitation in Karnataka manifests in 49 per cent open defecation where people go out to the outskirts to relieve themselves. Diarrhoea, dysentery, gastroenteritis, and cholera continue to plague children from below the poverty line affecting slum children and increasing child mortality, stunted growth, and malnutrition.
Dengue was at an all time high in India in 2015 and accounted for 4691 cases and nine deaths last year, according to statistics provided by the Federal Health Ministry of the Government of India.
The majority of hospital admissions in Karnataka’s Vani Vilas Children and Women’s Hospital is for Dengue cases, between January and September 2015 the number of dengue cases was 799 children out of 2800 dengue cases in VV Hospital alone, declared the Department of Paediatrics in the state’s premier child health care hospital.
Despite interventions like mid-day meals and water and sanitation in village schools the lack of water and sanitation infrastructure coupled with water crises triggered by climate change is impacting the human development index even in more advanced regions and states in India. The challenge that remains is creating a water and sanitation infrastructure and convincing the masses of the efficacy of water and sanitation and ending open defecation and open sewers. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 18/01/2016)