Kuni Tyessi, Abuja
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has disclosed that diarrhoea has become the common cause of illness in children, and a global killer which is responsible for the death of 2, 195 children on a daily basis around the world. UNICEF stated that 842,000 deaths could be prevented globally if only there was constant and improved water and sanitation, as the lack of it is responsible for one in nine child deaths worldwide, making it the second leading cause of death among children under five. UNICEF WASH specialist, Ms. Mainga Banda, who disclosed this in Awka, the Amambra State capital, during a two-day media dialogue on Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH), revealed that diarrhoea killed faster and had become worse than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
She said even if death did not occur, it could lead and also affect a child’s nutritional status, which will in turn affect a child’s cognitive abilities as well as interest in educational pursuits.
Banda stated, ” Diarrhoea kills 2,195 children everyday globally and it is more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. It accounts for one in nine child deaths worldwide, making it second leading cause of death among children under five. 842,000 deaths can be prevented globally by improved water and sanitation. Diarrhoea can lead and also affect a child’s nutritional status.”
She added that the impact of WASH was not only on health but also on nutrition and education with emphasis on saving lives. She said the objective was meant to increase access to safe adequate and sustainable WASH services delivery in six focus states of the federation, hoping that they will serve as catalyst to others towards imbibing the efficiency of WASH, especially in the rural areas where the condition is prevalent.