Health Care and Safe Water Essay

Submitted By Nicole-Beckett
Words: 1216
Pages: 5

Diarrhea in Africa
Nicole Beckett
Global Health Issues Stephanie

Diarrhea in Africa The magnitude and nature of diarrhea in Africa is a huge problem equaling 1.5 million children deaths each year from diarrhea. The children are effected the most which shows in the 2,196 children dying every day. This amount is more than AIDs, Malaria and malaria together. Incidence of diarrhea in children is 1.7 billon. Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children under 5. If children have HIV then diarrhea is 11% more deadly. Rotavirus vaccinations, breastfeeding, safe water, hygiene and sanitation are cure for this. Diarrhea causes death by depleting body fluids in children which causes dehydration. There is also impact on children's cognitive development and these children are unable to go to school. The growth of the children are also effected and cause stunting and wasting. Most of these deaths are from unsafe water, unsafe sanitation and no hygiene equally about 88%. A virus called Rotavirus is the biggest cause of acute diarrhea and equals around 40% of the hospitalizations of children in Africa. Children that survive these illnesses usually have stomach and intestinal infections for life. Enteric infections and gut problems can lead to poor nutrient absorption and weaker immune response especially to oral vaccines. Long term there can also be stunted growth and less opportunity over their lifetime. There are many risk factors that contribute to the spreading of diarrhea. The germs from diarrhea are spread through stool from the stool of one person to the mouth of another person. The contamination of the stool is usually spread through water, food and objects. This happens when people and animals defecate in or near water that people drink. This contaminated water is used to irrigate crops. There is also a huge problem with food preparers do not wash their hands before cooking. People also do not wash hands properly and touch other people's hands, doorknobs, tools and cooking utensils. When children have diarrhea there is medical costs, non medical costs and productivity losses. The cost per episode can average 35% to 69% of the families income. Many households do not seek help because they feel there is no need for care, too far for care, no transportation, no time off work, political reasons, transportation costs, treatment costs and also having to leave other children at home to get help. There is also some that do not get help because they do not trust in clinical services, have traditional medicines and have cultural differences. If people do get medical help then this sometimes can cause the family fewer meals which can also make them sick. There is also some families that cut other expenses, save for medical reasons, borrowing, selling assets and donations. Of course what each family can do is different depending on different countries, wealth and sex are associated with medical care. UNICEF and World Health Organization (WHO) play a big role in some successes in improving conditions of diarrhea in Africa. In the 1970s and 1980s they set up a program called Diarrheal Disease Control Program. There is lack of funding for this program and also lack of research. There is also lack of political commitment to this program. The biggest way that we can save children's life's from diarrhea is vaccinations for rotavirus. If the funds are not available for vaccinations then the people need to be provided with safe water and safe sanitation. The community also need to set up a safe area for human waste disposal. There also needs to be education and promotion of hand washing especially with soap. Mothers also need to be educated that breastfeeding can reduce the expose to contaminated water. If the finances are available there should be hospitals with oral rehydration and antibiotics. Another way if money is available the countries should build laboratories for diagnostic causes of diarrhea in…