Go #BlueForWater: Support Clean Water to Save Lives
When the time comes to give birth, there are inevitably worries. For most of us, the arrival of a healthy baby means the end of most of those worries. When the time arrives to bathe the baby and clean off the remnants of the birth, it’s just another step in the celebration of a new arrival.
But that isn’t always the case.
In many places in the world, there aren’t facilities for those caring for the mother and baby to wash their hands to remove germs.
In many places there is a worry that the water there is for the bath may be contaminated with germs that can cause illness, since it is often brought by the pregnant woman and her family from shallow wells because there isn’t water available at the health care facility.
In fact, as WaterAid notes, “Tragically for one in five babies who die in their first month in the developing world, just being washed in clean water and cared for in a clean environment by people who had washed their hands could have prevented their untimely deaths.”
It’s because of these preventable deaths that WaterAid has focused their Healthy Start program on ensuring that “everyone, everywhere […] have access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030.”
How bad is the problem? A recent World Health Organization/UNICEF report showed that “in the 54 developing countries studied, 38% of healthcare facilities do not have any water and 19% do not have any toilet facilities. Over a third (35%) of hospitals and clinics did not have anywhere for staff or patients to wash their hands with soap.” How does your birth experience compare? Can you imagine delivering a child without access to a toilet? To water? To a place for those involved to wash their hands?
If you’re shocked, appalled, hopeful that things can change, there are steps you can take. Join WaterAid in acknowledging the importance of clean water for everyone, everywhere. Go #BlueForWater on Friday, March 20 for World Water Day.
As Sarina Prabasi, the Chief Executive of WaterAid America, brought to our attention, awareness of the issue and support for the cause can help focus worldwide attention and effort on making the necessary changes so that each and every child can have a healthy start.
- Around 1,400 children die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.
- 748 million people in the world live without safe water.
- 2.5 billion people live without sanitation; this is 39% of the world's population.
- For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of $4 is returned in increased productivity.
- Just $25 can enable one person to access a lasting supply of safe water.