Accra, July 6, GNA – Some 780,000 African children, under age five, died of diarrhoea last year due to inadequate access to safe water and sanitation, WaterAid research has shown.
It estimates a yearly 15 billion-dollar economic cost to the continent if the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets for water and sanitation are not met.
In a press release received by GNA on Monday, Mr Stephen Ntow, Country Representative of WaterAid, Ghana, expressed disquiet over the fact that African leaders had failed to act upon a pledge to address the situation at last year’s African Union Summit.
“Last year’s Summit marked a breakthrough as African leaders raised water and sanitation to the top of the political agenda by signing the Sham El-Sheik and eThekwini commitments to accelerate progress towards the water and sanitation goals,” he said, but expressed shock that little action had been done to address the situation.
Mr Ntow said the number of children that died of diarrhoea were a stark indication of the human cost of insufficient investment and called for immediate and pragmatic steps to reverse the sad trend.
“Diarrhoea is a major health crisis facing Africa. It is the second biggest killer of under-fives, yet neither governments nor donors are paying enough attention to this deadly disease,” he said.
“African leaders must implement and independently monitor the Sham El-Sheik and eThekwini commitments on water and sanitation as well as collaborate with international counterparts including the G8 in order to mobilize international efforts to support African commitments especially in areas that border on water and sanitation,” Mr Ntow said.
Source – Modern Ghana
A damning report has highlighted horrific shortfalls in the provision of water and sanitation and the failure to end violence against women and children in some of South Africa’s poorest provinces.
The report by the Presidential Working Group on Women (PWGW) comes as women and gender rights groups yesterday called for stronger political leadership in the fight to stop violence against women.
President Thabo Mbeki, who addressed the PWGW in Pretoria on Tuesday, has also come down hard – giving the group a four-week deadline to expand their organisation to see what is needed to be done to alleviate the plight of women and children.
More – IOL/South Africa
Moa wharf is home to an estimated population of seven thousand people, many of them children. Many of these children are affected illness due to the poor sanitation of the community.
Many of the children of Moa wharf do not attend school, as they are too busy working as fisherman.
These young children, between the ages of nine and sixteen, consider fishing as a lucrative job for them to get money to support their family, as some are the sole bread winners of their families.
Life in Moa wharf, as in many Sierra Leonean slums, is difficult and unhealthy. Hundreds of thousands of people suffer in conditions too poor to sustain a healthy life.
Read More – allAfrica
(…) The report, “The State of Africa’s Children 2008,” was launched on May 28 at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Japan.
(…) The facts are shocking. Although Africa accounts for only 22 percent of births globally, half of the 10 million child deaths annually occur on the continent. Africa is the only continent that has seen rising numbers of deaths among children under five since the 1970s. Many of these children die of preventable and curable diseases. UNICEF’s report says malaria is the cause of 18 percent of under-five deaths in Africa. Diarrhoeal diseases and pneumonia — both illnesses that thrive in poor communities where sanitation is severely compromised, and where residents are often undernourished and exposed to pollution — account for a further 40 percent of child deaths. Another major killer is AIDS. (…)
Read all ipsnews.net
More at UNICEF Newsline (including Press Release and the Report itself)
Most kids in Cameroon battle diarrhea from time to time, but the good news is that it’s often caused by infections that don’t last long and usually are more disruptive than dangerous.
Still, it’s important to know what to do to relieve and even prevent diarrhea. In an interview conducted by Elvis Teke, Dr. Serge EMALEU paints a picture of the disease and how it can be controlled.
Elvis Teke: What are the most common causes of Diarrhea?
Dr. Serge EMALEU: Diarrhea — frequent runny or watery bowel movements (poop) — is usually brought on by gastrointestinal (GI) infections caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites.
The specific germs that cause diarrhea can vary among geographic regions depending on their level of sanitation, economic development, and hygiene. For example, in our country with poor sanitation and where human waste is sometime used as fertilizer often have outbreaks of diarrhea when intestinal bacteria or parasites contaminate crops or drinking water.
Read More – Cameroon RT