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Updated On: Tuesday, 23 July 2019

How Universal Healthcare, Clean Water and Sanitation Go Hand in Hand

Content by: WaterAid

5 August 2014, New York, USA | Brendan Pastor – Universal healthcare for the world has been a recurring theme in the international community for decades, but the exact definition of “health” has changed over time.

A new report from the non-profit organization WaterAid argues that clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) should be included in the health paradigm. In this regard, WASH priorities can be given added stature in international health agreements, thus facilitating the expansion of cleaner facilities. This, they argue, will have broad impacts on the health of billions.

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Read the introduction of the report below, and then click here to read the full report


Water and sanitation are human rights that play a vital role in attaining the right to the highest standard of health for all.

Health and WASH are intrinsically related and must be recognised as both preconditions for and outcomes of sustainable development.

Lack of joint action on WASH and health in the last few decades has resulted in poor progress on agreed international targets, including those on maternal, newborn and child health. The ability of countries and the international community to address these ongoing challenges will be significantly strengthened if this deficit is adequately addressed.

The importance of WASH for human health and well-being has been recognised for some time. More than 150 years ago, the assumed link between contaminated water and cholera outbreaks led to massive investment in legislation and infrastructure. This was to safely separate people from human faeces and the diseases they carry. Despite the knowledge and understanding of the importance of WASH, access to the basic services that underpin development and modernisation in the world’s leading economies remains woefully inadequate.


The report included is a product of a third-party organization. South-South News does not own the rights to the report, nor is South-South News affiliated with the organization. The report is provided as a way to showcase an informative, fact-based and unbiased research and analysis publication exploring an important issue of global development. For more information, please visit the website of the author organization directly.

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