The issue explained
One of the most obvious benefits of clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene is that people are healthier.
The other side of the coin is that without these essentials, diseases such as diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections spread. Children are especially vulnerable. Mothers too - pregnant women need to have access to clean water, toilets and be in a hygienic environment to have the best chances of a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery.
Furthermore, people who are already sick, particularly those suffering from long-term debilitating illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, have greater water and sanitation needs than healthy people.
We aim to have an integrated approach: improved health and improved water, toilets and hygiene have to go hand in hand. There’s little point giving a child protection against malaria if they are still drinking dirty water.
While we don’t work directly in the health sector, for example by funding health care facilities or doctors, we are working increasingly closely with health professionals and hygiene educators, because the links between health and hygiene are so strong.
In our influencing work, we are working hard to ensure that greater funding and action within the health sector is targeted at clean water, toilets and hygiene.
We plan to do even more work in this area going forward, so that clean water, toilets and hygiene are helping to stop the spread of disease in communities and are integrated into health care facilities to ensure everyone can enjoy high-quality health services.
We’re working to achieve gender equality, ensuring women and girls are involved.
We seek to tackle exclusion and marginalisation wherever it occurs.
Building services that last
We’re focused on ensuring that water and sanitation services continue to work over time.