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Address Water And Sanitation In Urban Slums To Curb Spread Of Diarrheal Disease

A lack of water and poor sanitation, a result of rapid urbanization being experienced in big cities and small towns throughout the developing world, urgently need tackling in order to curb the resulting spread of diarrheal disease “in what the U.N. terms ‘informal settlements’ — slums, as they are more commonly known,” Timeyin Uwejamomere, senior policy analyst for urban water and sanitation services at WaterAid, writes in this post in the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.”

“To me, it is clear: water and sanitation are the most important and essential areas in which we can invest in our booming cities. Such investment improves the lives of the very poorest and has a transformative effect on the national economy and individual wealth,” he writes, adding, “A lack of basic toilets and waste management is a severe public health hazard, especially in a dense urban environment where diseases like cholera can spread like wildfire. It is a shocking fact that, in sub-Saharan Africa, more children die from diarrheal diseases caused by a lack of sanitation and safe water than they do from measles, HIV and AIDS, and malaria combined” (10/3).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.