Developing knowledge and capacity in water and sanitation
Diarrhoea causes 2.5 million deaths/year, accounting for around 21% of all-cause mortality for children under five years old in developing countries (Kosek, 2003). This is equivalent to one child dying every twelve seconds, or a jumbo jet full of children crashing every 90 minutes.
In addition, diarrhoea accounts for the annual loss of around 62 million DALYs (disability-adjusted life years), a standard measure of the burden of disease calculated from the number of years of productive life lost due to illness and premature mortality (WHO, 2004); this figure provides an indication of the substantial socio-economic impacts of diarrhoeal diseases through loss of work, disrupted school attendance and medical costs. To put it into perspective, malaria leads to a loss of 47 million DALYs and tuberculosis 35 million DALYs per year (WHO, 2004).
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