Globally, about 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation of which 695 million live in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, around 400 million people in sub-Saharan Africa (2 out of 5 people) lack access to basic drinking water. Diseases related to poor water and sanitation including diarrheal diseases, malaria, and other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) such as intestinal helminthiasis, schistosomiasis affect many rural communities. The second leading cause of death among children under five is diarrheal diseases. They kill more children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Worse yet, diarrheal diseases inhibit nutrient absorption leading to starvation even if sufficient nutrition is consumed in the end impacting both physical and cognitive development.
Despite clear correlation between water and sanitation and related health outcomes, no major efforts have been advanced to ensure integrated actions. Diseases of poor sanitation have been shown to correlate with poverty accounting for nearly 10% of the global burden of disease
Amref Health Africa’s vision is to have sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene for lasting health change in Africa. Building on Amref’s vast experience and success, the programme seeks to expand access to sustainable WASH services through innovative approaches in line with the aspirations of the sustainable development goal number 6.
Amref Health Africa has a track record and competencies in the management of water, sanitation and hygiene and neglected tropical diseases dating as far back as 1984. This programme works to: