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WHO first global guidelines on sanitation and health

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    10th Oct, 2018
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently launched the first global guidelines on sanitation and health.
  • WHO’s new Sanitation and Health Guidelines are aimed at securing health and well-being for everyone, everywhere by considering sanitation as fundamental foundation of human health and development

Context

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently launched the first global guidelines on sanitation and health.
  • WHO’s new Sanitation and Health Guidelines are aimed at securing health and well-being for everyone, everywhere by considering sanitation as fundamental foundation of human health and development

About

  • The new WHO Guidelines on Sanitation and Health summarize the evidence on the effectiveness of a range of sanitation interventions and provide a comprehensive framework for health-protecting sanitation, covering policy and governance measures, implementation of sanitation technologies, systems and behavioural interventions, risk-based management, and monitoring approaches.
  • The guidelines articulate the role of the health sector in maximizing the health impact of sanitation interventions.
  • It also identifies gaps in the evidence-base to guide future research efforts to improve the effectiveness of sanitation interventions.

                                                                                           WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

     • It is a specialized agency of United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health.
     • Established on 7 April 1948, WHO succeeded the Health Organization, which was an agency of the League of Nations.
     • WHO is also a member of UN Development Group (UNDP)

Significance

  • Sanitation is a fundamental foundation of human health and development and underpins the core mission of WHO and ministries of health worldwide.
  • Without proper access to sanitation, millions of people the world over are deprived of the dignity, safety and convenience of a decent toilet.
  • Poor sanitation is a major factor in transmission of neglected tropical diseases. However, billions of people across the world live without access to even the most basic sanitation services.
  • According to WHO, 2.3 billion people worldwide lack basic sanitation with almost half of the world population forced to defecate in the open. They are among the 4.5 billion without access to safely managed sanitation services – in other words a toilet connected to a sewer or pit or septic tank that treats human waste
  • WHO developed the new guidelines on sanitation and health because current sanitation programmes are not achieving anticipated health gains and there is a lack of authoritative health-based guidance on sanitation.
  • By adopting WHO’s new guidelines, countries can significantly reduce the diarrhoeal deaths due to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene.
  • For every US $1 invested in sanitation, WHO estimates a nearly six-fold return as measured by lower health costs, increased productivity and fewer premature deaths.
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