The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us time and again how essential effective water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) management can be in preventing the spread of disease. When communities have access to safe and clean water, they’re better equipped to follow recommended public health tips and contain or prevent an outbreak of a virus.
Still, an estimated 2 billion people around the world are currently at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to limited access to effective handwashing.
And in low- and middle-income countries, where adequate facilities are often unavailable, these unsanitary conditions also create a breeding ground for other diseases to spread — diseases that have been around for much longer than COVID-19.
Despite this — and the fact that a whopping 2.7 billion people lack access to sanitation around the world — NTDs have historically failed to receive much attention from the global community, which is precisely why they’re considered “neglected.”
Some of them, like soil-transmitted helminths and Guinea worm disease, spread through soil, food, or water that’s been contaminated by parasites. Others, like trachoma, are transmitted through flying insects and could be prevented with regular face washing and proper disposal of human waste.
Read the full article about access to clean water by Sarah El Gharib at Global Citizen.
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