Polluted water leading cause of child mortality in Gaza

 Yaniv Kubovich Haaretz 16/10/19

Illness caused by water pollution is a leading cause of child mortality in the Gaza Strip, says a study by the RAND Corporation. The study shows that water pollution accounts for more than a quarter of illnesses in Gaza and that more than 12 percent of child deaths up until four years ago was linked to gastrointestinal disorders due to water pollution. Since that time these numbers have continued to grow. The collapse of water infrastructure has led to a sharp rise in germs and viruses such as rotavirus, cholera and salmonella, the report says … Today 97 percent of drinking water in the Strip is not drinkable by any recognized international standard … The study shows Gaza schools have one toilet per 75 pupils and one sink for washing hands per 80. Most of this water is either recycled or from a reservoir. As a result, the very presence of children in these schools puts them at risk of contracting gastrointestinal diseases. Schools, public buildings and hospitals are only cleaned when necessary in order to conserve water. Hospital staff only wash their hands when it’s essential and not on a regular basis when going from one patient to another, in order to conserve the water for life-saving treatment. The researchers estimate that within two years, even the isolated sources of water used today will cease to operate without proper maintenance….

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