Access To Clean Water Vital To Improving Health, Addressing Drug-Resistant Diseases

The Conversation: To defeat superbugs, everyone will need access to clean water
Abhilasha Karkey, research fellow at the University of Oxford

“…[Lack of access to clean water] is a major driver of inappropriate antibiotic use and, ultimately, the growth in antibiotic-resistant bugs — so-called ‘superbugs.’ … Around 40 percent of health care facilities in developing countries do not have a water supply. This is why the water crisis is a health crisis. Having access to safe water and sanitation is central to improving health and fighting diseases that are increasingly resistant to treatments, such as typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. … [The lack of established water treatment facilities and water] shortages lead to sanitation and hygiene problems and, as a result, foster a high number of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid, gastroenteritis, and cholera. Rainwater harvesting could be a solution for places like Nepal, which has excessive rainfall for four months every year. … Installing rainwater harvesting systems has … been shown to reduce the need to buy water from private suppliers, and can improve sanitation and reduce disease…” (4/20).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.