By Bhaskar Tripathi
New Delhi: Over five years to 2017, water-borne diseases — cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid and viral hepatitis — caused 10,738 deaths, latest government data shows.
Diarrhoea remained the leading killer, causing about 60% of all deaths, according to this reply to the Lok Sabha by Jai Prakash Nadda, minister for health and family welfare, on 6 April, 2018.
India loses 73 million working days due to water-borne diseases, IndiaSpend reported on 21 June, 2016.
Diarrhoea caused 6,514 deaths, the most of water-borne diseases in India, over five years to 2017. Other killers were viral hepatitis (2,143), typhoid (2,061) and cholera (20).
|Reported Cases And Deaths By Water-Borne Diseases in India|
|Acute Diarrhoeal Diseases||11413610||1629||11748631||1137||12913606||1353||14166574||1555||9230572||840|
Source: Lok Sabha
Uttar Pradesh recorded most diarrhoea deaths
Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, recorded the most diarrhoeal deaths — 22.21 percent of deaths nationwide — over five years to 2017, according to the data, followed by West Bengal (14.33 percent), Assam ( 12.03 percent), Odisha (10.63 percent) and Madhya Pradesh (7.24 percent).
Source: Lok Sabha
Limited access to safe drinking water
Water-borne diseases can be prevented with improved access to safe drinking water.
About 86 percent Indian households have access to “safe drinking water”, according to official data.
The definition of "safe drinking water" explains the conundrum and helps the government exaggerate the numbers.
The number of households provided with “safe drinking water” in India increased from 62 percent in 1991 to 78 percent in 2001 to 86 percent percent (83 percent rural and 91 percent urban) in 2011. No more than 44 percent of households have access to tap water; 32 percent have access to treated tap water.
Diarrhoea biggest threat to children under five
Diarrhoea is among the top reasons of under-five mortality–killing an estimated 321 children every day in 2015, according to data from the World Health Organization.
In a decade to 2015, India’s efforts to tackle diarrhoea–a disease easily preventable through sanitation, safe drinking water and hygiene–have reduced the deaths of children below the age of four by 52 percent, IndiaSpend reported on 27 March, 2018.
Despite the improvement, India lags many developing countries in the fight against diarrhoea. In 2015, deaths due to diarrhoea of Indian children under five accounted for 10 percent (117,285) of all deaths in the age-group, higher than 7 percent (3,273 children) in Myanmar, 7 percent (5,442 children) in Kenya and 9 percent (39,484 children) in Pakistan–countries with lower per capita incomes — IndiaSpend reported on 29 July, 2017.
Updated Date: May 01, 2018 15:15:27 IST