New Report 2014: Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation

report_unicefThe new report “Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation. Update 2014” from UNICEF and the World Health Organization “highlights a narrowing disparity in access to cleaner water and better sanitation between rural and urban areas.” Although some global progress was made “sharp geographic, socio-cultural, and economic inequalities in access to improved drinking water and sanitation facilities still persist around the world.” (Unicef, 2014)

The following tables present some of the findings relevant to the program countries of The Hunger Project.

  • 82% of the one billion people practising open defecation in the world live in 10 countries. Among these countries are India with 597 million people practising open defection, Ethiopia with 34 million, and Mozambique with 10 million.
  • Countries which could reduce open defection are Bangladesh, Benin, Ethiopia, and Peru. They belong to the 10 countries that have achieved the highest reduction of open defecation:
% of the population practising open defecation, 1990 % of the population practising open defecation, 2012 Percentage point reduction in practice of open defecation, 1990–2012
Ethiopia 92 37 55
Bangladesh 34 3 31
Peru 33 6 27
Benin 80 54 26
  • The following table shows the open defecation practices in Burkina Faso and Ethiopia according to level of education, and underlines significant disparities:
No Education, Preschool Primary Education Secondary Education Higher Education
Burkina Faso 76% 48% 14%
Ethiopia 54% 34% 15% 9%
  • The report’s findings on saniation and drinking water for all project countries with regard to the MDG targets read as follows (for a detailed breakdown see Annex 3):

Use of Sanitation Facilities

Progress towards MDG target Proportion of the 2012 population that gained access since 2000 (%)
Bangladesh not on track 19
Benin not on track 8
Bolivia not on track 16
Burkina Faso not on track 10
Ethiopia not on track 18
Ghana met target 35
India not on track 14
Malawi not on track 3
Mexico met target 21
Mozambique not on track 11
Peru on track 18
Senegal not on track 21
Uganda not on track 14

Use of Drinking Water Sources

Progress towards MDG target Proportion of the 2012 population that gained access since 2000 (%)
Bangladesh met target 20
Benin on track 30
Bolivia met target 24
Burkina Faso met target 40
Ethiopia on track 31
Ghana met target 35
India met target 25
Malawi met target 31
Mexico met traget 19
Mozambique not on track 19
Peru on track 17
Senegal progress insufficient 26
Uganda met target 37

To read the full report and see the findings click here.

UNCoLSC Recommendations to increase access to, and use of Life-saving commodities

EVERY WOMAN EVERY CHILD
EVERY WOMAN EVERY CHILD

Every Woman Every Child. This focus is long overdue. With the launch of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, we have an opportunity to improve the health of hundreds of millions of women and children around the world, and in so doing, to improve the lives of all people.” — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities (UNCoLSC) for Women’s and Children’s Health made ten, specific, time bound recommendations in three main areas to increase access to, and use of, these commodities.

The following are lists of areas and recommendations by UNCoLSC:(Adopted from Early Woman Every Child website)

Area 1. Improved markets:

  1. Shaping global markets: By 2013, effective global mechanisms such as pooled procurement and aggregated demand are in place to increase the availability of quality, life-saving commodities at an optimal price and volume.

  2. Shaping local delivery markets: By 2014, local health providers and private sector actors in all Every Woman Every Child countries are incentivized to increase production, distribution and appropriate promotion of the 13 commodities.

  3. Innovative financing: By the end of 2013, innovative, results-based financing is in place to rapidly increase access to the 13 commodities by those most in need and foster innovations.

  4. Quality strengthening: By 2015, at least three manufacturers per commodity are manufacturing and marketing quality-certified and affordable products.

  5. Regulatory efficiency: By 2015, all Every Woman Every Child countries have standardized and streamlined their registration requirements and assessment processes for the 13 live-saving commodities with support from stringent regulatory authorities, the World Health Organization and regional collaboration.

Area 2. Improved national delivery:

  1. Supply and awareness: By 2015, all Every Woman Every Child countries have improved the supply of life-saving commodities and build on information and communication technology (ICT) best practices for making these improvements.

  2. Demand and utilization: By 2014, all Every Woman Every Child countries in conjunction with the private sector and civil society have developed plans to implement at scale appropriate interventions to increase demand for and utilization of health services and products, particularly among under-served populations.

  3. Reaching women and children: By 2014, all Every Woman Every Child countries are addressing financial barriers to ensure the poorest members of society have access to the life-saving commodities.

  4. Performance and accountability: By the end of 2013, all Every Woman Every Child countries have proven mechanisms such as checklists in place to ensure that health-care providers are knowledgeable about the latest national guidelines.

Area 3. Improved integration of private sector and consumer needs.

  1. Product innovation: By 2014, research and development for improved life-saving commodities has been prioritized, funded and commenced.

Reference:

Every Woman Every Child, 2014. Retrieved on 1 April 2014 from http://www.everywomaneverychild.org/resources/un-commission-on-life-saving-commodities/recommendations.

Partnership for Maternal Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) Policy Brief

PMNCH
PMNCH

The Partnership for Maternal Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), which The Hunger Project (THP) is part of, disclosed a policy brief on “Placing Healthy Women and Children at the Heart of the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Framework” on 31 March 2014. PMNCH through its Post 2015 Working Group is advocating for a Post 2015 framework that addresses women’s and children’s health issues and is rights-based, people-centered, equity focused, gender sensitive, participatory and adopts a cross-sectoral approach to health.

The full PMNCH policy briefing can be downloaded here.

Specifically PMNCH calls for the Post 2015 Framework to:

  • Include a stand-alone health goal that maximizes health and well-being, specifying an end to preventable mortality and morbidity and fulfillment of sexual and reproductive health and rights; achieving this through universal health coverage, with targets that guide countries to leave no one behind

  • Focus on the most critical population groups for maximizing progress towards improving health and development outcomes, particularly newborns and adolescents

  • Integrate health-related targets into all relevant sectors such as nutrition, education, gender, and infrastructure such as water, sanitation and energy to address the underlying determinants of health

  • Include differentiated targets for countries based on their levels of development.

    (Adopted from PMNCH)

For a related blog on Post 2015 agendas, search Post-2015 on our advocacy page.

About Partnership for Maternal Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH).

PMNCH joins the reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) communities into an alliance of more than 500 members, across seven constituencies: academic, research and teaching institutions; donors and foundations; health-care professionals; multilateral agencies; non-governmental organizations; partner countries; and the private sector (PMNCH, 2014).

References:

PMNCH, 2014. Retrieved on 1 April 2014 from  http://www.who.int/pmnch/about/en/

World Health Day 2014: Combating vector-borne diseases

boy130WHO

World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of World Heath Organization (WHO) in 1948. Each year a theme is selected that highlights a priority area of public health. The Day provides an opportunity for individuals in every community to get involved in activities that can lead to better health (WHO, 2014).

The theme/topic for 2014 anniversary is vector-borne diseases.

To download and read A global brief on vector-borne diseases by WHO, click here.

Summaries on Vectors and Vector-born diseases (Adopted from WHO)

  • Vectors are organisms that transmit pathogens and parasites from one infected person (or animal) to another.

  • Vector-borne diseases are illnesses caused by these pathogens and parasites in human populations.

  • The most commonly known vectors are :

    • mosquitoes, sand flies, bugs, ticks and snails.

  • The above vectors are responsible for transmitting a wide range of parasites and pathogens that attack humans or animals. Mosquitoes, for example, not only transmit malaria and dengue, but also lymphatic filariasis, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever.

  • They are most commonly found in tropical areas and places where access to safe drinking-water and sanitation systems is problematic.

  • The most deadly vector-borne disease, malaria, caused an estimated 660 000 deaths in 2010. Most of these were African children.

World Malaria Report 2013 is accessible here.

  • The fastest growing vector-borne disease is dengue, with a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the last 50 years.

  • 40% of the world’s population is at risk from dengue (2014)

          To learn more about Dengue, click here.

  • More than half of the world’s population is at risk of these diseases. Increased travel, trade and migration make even more people vulnerable.

Goal: better protection from vector-borne diseases

The campaign aims to raise awareness about the threat posed by vectors and vector-borne diseases and to stimulate families and communities to take action to protect themselves. A core element of the campaign will be to provide communities with information. As vector-borne diseases begin to spread beyond their traditional boundaries, action needs to be expanded beyond the countries where these diseases currently thrive.

More broadly, through the campaign, WHO member states are aiming for the following:

  • families living in areas where diseases are transmitted by vectors know how to protect themselves;

  • travelers know how to protect themselves from vectors and vector-borne diseases when travelling to countries where these pose a health threat;

  • in countries where vector-borne diseases are a public health problem, ministries of health put in place measures to improve the protection of their populations; and

  • in countries where vector-borne diseases are an emerging threat, health authorities work with environmental and relevant authorities locally and in neighboring countries to improve integrated surveillance of vectors and to take measures to prevent their proliferation.

References:

WHO, 2014. Retrieved on 1 April 2014 from http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2014/en/.

CDC, 2014. Retrieved on 1 April 2014 from http://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dvbd/about.html.