Water supply and sanitation are amongst the most basic requirements of life. For the past 50 to 150 years people living
in Europe, America and a few capital cities elsewhere around the globe have come to take for granted the provision of a
virtually limitless supply of clean, safe water and the seemingly effortless removal of all human wastes ‘out of sight and
out of mind’.
Just under a third (31%) of overall activity in this sector is in manufacturing, with the highest levels of
manufacturing in the Wind and Carbon Capture & Storage sectors ‐ the latter a reflection of the
current drive to prove the technology through pilot projects.
The way we design, plan and build our cities and their
infrastructure is critical for developing competitive and liveable
cities. Cities are already suffering from severe environmental
problems, such as pollution, congestion and excessive
waste, while the basic needs of hundreds of millions of urban
residents are yet to be met. The unprecedented urbanization
imposes an even greater challenge for providing adequate
housing, energy, water, sanitation and mobility to all.
Cities are at a crossroads.
Furthermore, in order to boost innovative drugs and health solutions in Europe the Health
Theme makes a major effort into investigator-driven clinical trials in various fields. With a
focus on brain-related diseases, diabetes, and cancer (incorporating life style issues and social
determinants of health) the 2011 work programme addresses major health-related societal
challenges. Finally, with a focus on antimicrobial drug resistance and emerging epidemics,
the Health Theme continues to address global health issues of utmost importance.
Leading cause of death in human population:
Most important contributions to public
health in last 100 yrs:
JENNER – smallpox vaccine.
PASTEUR – rabies vaccine.
Global eradication of smallpox (1980).
Future global eradication of polio.
Undernutrition affects large populations of boys and girls in developing countries. Its major
determinant is poverty, which usually combines with other important factors like poor
breastfeeding practices and inadequate complementary foods for babies, as well as lack of
basic health care, safe water and sanitation. Globally, about 150 million children under five
years are undernourished, which comprises 27% of the world’s population in this age group.
Twelve million of these children die every year, and protein-energy malnutrition is
implicated in more than 55% of all these deaths.
Much of the content is based on the work done by WSP’s global rural sanitation
team. Without their hard work and dedication on the ground, this publication
would not have been possible. Contributions from Eduardo Perez, task team
leader for WSP’s Scaling Up Rural Sanitation, Yolande Coombes, senior water
and sanitation specialist, and Ian Moise should also be acknowledged.
The WHO has estimated that environmental exposures contribute to 19% of cancer incidence worldwide.
Additionally, a WHO Global Health Risks report looked at five environmental exposures, (unsafe water,
sanitation and hygiene, urban outdoor air pollution, indoor smoke from solid fuels, lead exposure and
climate change), and estimated they account for nearly 10% of deaths and disease burden globally and
around one quarter of deaths and disease burden in children under the age of five.
Previous World Health Organization studies have examined the aggregate
disease burden attributed to key environmental risks globally and
regionally, quantifying the amount of death and disease caused by factors
such as unsafe drinking-water and sanitation, and indoor and outdoor air
Building from that experience, this present study examines how specific
diseases and injuries are impacted by environmental risks, and which
regions and populations are most vulnerable to environmentally-mediated
diseases and injuries.
Global Scaling Up Handwashing is a Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) project focused on learning
how to apply innovative promotional approaches to behavior change to generate widespread and
sustained improvements in handwashing with soap at scale among women of reproductive age
(ages 15-49) and primary school-aged children (ages 5-9). The project is being implemented by
local and national governments with technical support from WSP. For more information, please visit
Water contamination and the degradation and destruction of aquatic ecosystems is a problem of truly global dimensions and impedes sustainable development in poor countries because there is no clean water; there are waterborne diseases; and there is pollution and the lack of sanitation. This chapter provides knowledge of water pollution and its prevention.
of children’s environmental health (CEH) issues is compounded by the
combination of legacy environmental issues, such as water quality and
sanitation service delivery, with modern challenges such as transboundary
contamination by persistent toxic substances, ozone depletion and hence
ultraviolet and ionising radiation, global climate change, and exposure to
Adverse health outcomes of insufficient water are
direct in terms of human water requirements for
survival, and indirect in terms of lack of access to
drinkable water and water suitable for sanitation
and hygiene. Poor quality water (as unsafe water),
inadequate sanitation, and insufficient hygiene are
the major risk factors for diarrheal disease, which is
the second leading contributor to the global burden