Global Response to Sanitation-Related Diarrheal Disease “Not Rational,” Report Says
According to a new report, released Tuesday by the charity WaterAid, diarrheal disease caused by poor sanitation kills more children than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined, BBC reports. BBC writes that the report concludes, "Millions of children's lives are being put at risk each year because aid agencies and governments make wrong choices about health care priorities."
In 2004, diarrhea killed 1.8 million children worldwide and $1.5 billion was spent on sanitation between 2004 and 2006. During the same period, $10.8 billion was spent on HIV/AIDS, which killed about 300,000 in 2004, according to the report. As a result, the report says that the global response to diseases related to sanitation is "not rational," BBC reports (McGrath, BBC, 5/12).
Sanitation does not interest politicians, according to Oliver Cumming, the author of the report. He said a "lack of political will" is "driving this neglect, and it's all the more shocking when you consider the role that investments in sanitation played here in the developed world" (ABC News, 5/12).
Aid doesn't have to be a choice between one disease and another, Cumming said, adding that if developed countries met their aid commitments, developing countries could provide a balanced response to the diseases that kill children (BBC, 5/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.