Assessment of Macro-Level Socioeconomic Factors That Impact Waterborne Diseases: The Case of Jordan

Assessment of Macro-Level Socioeconomic Factors That Impact Waterborne Diseases: The Case of Jordan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(12), 1181; doi:10.3390/ijerph13121181

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is an example of a country that suffers from high water scarcity. Additionally, due to the economic drivers in the country, such as phosphate and potash extraction and pharmaceutical production, the little fresh water that remains is generally polluted. The infrastructure, often antiquated in urban areas and non-existent in rural areas, also contributes to poor water conditions and to the spread of waterborne diseases.

This paper examines the socioeconomic factors that contribute to diarrhea and hepatitis A on a macro level in Jordan and discusses the public-policies that government officials could use to abate those problems. Ordinary least squares time series models are used to understand the macro-level variables that impact the incidence of these diseases in Jordan. Public health expenditure has a significant impact on reducing their incidence.

Furthermore, investment in sanitation facilities in rural regions is likely to reduce the number of cases of hepatitis A. Perhaps the most surprising outcome is that importation of goods and services likely results in a decrease in cases of hepatitis A. However, income has little impact on the incidence of diarrhea and hepatitis A.

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