Drinking water and sanitation

M. Checkley, W. Checkley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Few topics carry as great importance to public health as do water and sanitation. Currently, it is estimated that 1.1 billion people lack access to adequate water and 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation worldwide. While improvements in water supply and sanitation are part of an international agenda to reduce poverty, the necessary political commitment at the national and local levels is still lacking. Throughout the last decade very little gain in coverage was achieved. The gross numbers of people who lack water and sanitation services have remained essentially the same. Conventional approaches, such as education about hygiene and sanitation, or installation of sanitation facilities, have proven unsuccessful. It is clear that people will not practice adequate hygiene, or install and use sanitation facilities unless they want to do so. It follows that any effective strategy must take into account the need to create demand for services. A multidisciplinary approach is particularly important as poverty, with its associated unsanitary living conditions and lack of access to water, proper nutrition, health care and education, is the overwhelming determinant of infection and malnutrition. The results of such efforts will better help us to achieve the goals identified in the Millennium Development Goals, and consequently serve the billions of people who currently live without improved water or sanitation. © 2008

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Public Health
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780123739605
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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