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).

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