THE Australian Medical Association has called for enhanced United Nations leadership in an Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, asking the UN to deliver water and sanitation “to everyone, everywhere by 2030”.
The Open Letter expresses how the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will ‘unlikely’ reach their deadline in 2015, as there will still be millions of people in the developing world without full access to safe drinking water, proper sanitation and electricity in their homes.
AMA’s Vice President, Dr Stephen Parnis, said: “Goal 7 of the MDGs, which currently aims to halve the proportion of the world population without sustainable access to basic sanitation by the end of 2015, is unlikely to be met.”
A 2012 UN report claimed the goal to halve the proportion of people living without access to safe drinking water has been reached – with more than two billion people being the beneficiaries.
Dr Stephen Parnis also said that 2.5 billion people globally – around one in three of the world’s population – do not have access to a safe and clean toilet.
Access to basic sanitation is fundamental to human health, yet inadequate sanitation continues to leave billions around the world prone to illness, poverty and death,” Dr Parnis said.
“Each year, around four million people die from diseases linked to a lack of safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation, or poor hygiene.
“At any one time, more than half the hospital beds in the developing world are occupied by patients suffering from diarrhoea.
“Diarrhoeal diseases are a leading cause of sickness and death among children in developing countries, with approximately 4,000 children dying every day from preventable diarrhoea linked to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene.”
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF have conducted international consultations to develop new targets for achieving universal access to water, sanitation, electricity and hygiene post-2015.
AMA and other leading health organisations and associations are calling on to the leaders to lead the world to a future of better health, dignity and prosperity for all by championing a dedicated goal to deliver water and prosperity for all by championing a dedicated goal to deliver water and sanitation to ‘everyone, everywhere by 2030.’
Source: Zack Jones – Australian News Network