Preventing infectious disease in developing countries: a responsibility for all. Released 18th May 2004 to mark the setting up of IFH South East Asian Regional office and release of the report “Hygiene and Health in Developing Countries: Defining Priorit
One of the greatest failures of the last fifty years has been the failure to lay the foundation stones of public health in the developing world – hygiene, sanitation and water supply. Despite significant progress during the last two decades, the demographic and environmental health scenario continues to cause serious concern in the developing countries of South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The traditional problems of water and air-borne infections combine with malnutrition and poor environmental sanitation to form a vicious cycle, which is increasing the burden of diseases beyond the capacity of the existing health infrastructure and jeopardizing the productivity of society. The report by Mr. Bjorn Larsen sponsored by IFH indicates that promotion of hygiene education and change of hygiene behaviour could prevent the death of a child at only a fraction of the cost that is involved in large community water supply and sanitation programme. A programme of hygiene promotion at home that targets high-risk house holds without adequate access to safe water & sanitation could prevent 1 million child deaths per year in the developing countries at 0.15% of their current health expenditure. IFH is committed to the belief that public-funded programmes of water and sanitation, vaccination and so on, are key in the fight against infectious disease – but unless we also invest in people and communities to play their part through good hygiene practice, control of infectious disease will not be an economically sustainable proposition.
Download File: SEA_office_180504.doc
Publication Type: Press release