Friday, 8 July 2016
World African Day...
Health is inextricably linked to the environment. This is as true in Africa as it is everywhere else in the world. But, Sub-Saharan African countries have more challenges to overcome in sustaining environmental change and therefore improving health.
Water-borne illnesses, such as cholera, are a good example of how the environment is linked to health. Several cholera outbreaks with as high as 200 cases, linked to lack of access to clean water and, or, poor sanitation have recently been reported in Zambia , Kenya and Tanzania .
Cholera epidemics in a number of African countries illustrate one aspect of the overall need for improved environmental stewardship in African countries.
The recently release 2016 Environmental Performance Index ranked 180 countries based on a variety of markers including legislative, technological measures to advance sustainable development goals including promoting clean air and water sanitation. Unfortunately, 7 of the bottom 10 countries are Sub-Saharan countries including Somalia, Eritrea, and Madagascar. A look at the dire statistics regarding access to clean water or prevalence of biological contamination indicates potential reasons why these countries rank so poorly. According to UNICEF Somalia, only 45% of Somalis have access to improved water sources. In Madagascar, as cited by Water Aid Madagascar , a staggering 88% of people in Madagascar do not have access to improved sanitation. And, according to t he FAO , 40-90% of the water sources analyzed during the Rural Water Point National Inventory, as of 2005, were biologically contaminated