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Health And Sanitation In Africa Essay

2980 words - 12 pages

Health and Sanitation in the Eastern African Countries
Quianna Hunt
Strayer University

Health and Sanitation in the Eastern African Countries

Africa is facing many health challenges which impacts human development, economic development, and poverty reduction efforts. These issues are due to the relationship of unsanitary conditions and disease causation. The African countries population is growing rapidly and enduring health hazards such as poor sanitation, unsafe water, insufficient hygiene, maternal health complications, and several diseases including: Malaria, Aids/HIV, Tuberculosis, Cholera, and Measles. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services along with poor ...view middle of the document...

Cholera infections are spread by contaminated food and water. Convulsions, vomiting and diarrhea produce dehydration that can kill in four hours. Cholera will continue to progress unless their can be some repairs in the dilapidated sewage system. In East Africa, half of the households lack access to clean drinking water and also lack access to flush toilets or pit latrines. Open defecation is widespread. People defecate in plastic bags and throw them away at night. Because there are no toilets and no place to safely dispose waste, the open sewers that run through the houses cause a significant amount of risks for contracting diseases.(Mulama, 2009) Some of the deaths such as cholera and typhoid can be avoided through investments in toilets, water, and hygiene. Diarrhea is common during the autumn months due to the rain and the blocked sewers. Due to the collapse of municipal piped systems, the ratio of piped to unpiped households fell from 8:1 to 3:1. Unpiped households use less than half the amount of water for hygiene uses (e.g., cleaning and bathing) compared with those having piped supplies (Thompson, 2002) Without water, sanitation and hygiene sustainable human development is impossible. Traditional environmental health hazards such as lack of access to potable water, indoor air pollution from biomass burning and lack of sanitation and hygiene have long plagued African nations. However, with growth in urbanization and industrialization, these countries are now facing more modern environmental health hazards such as heavy metals like lead and mercury, pesticides and air toxics. Sources of these hazards include consumer goods, household paint, leaded gasoline (which is still sold in North Africa), pesticides, industrial pollution, domestic and

hazardous waste, polluted water and artisanal gold mining and processing. With increased urbanization and industrialization of many African cities, air pollution in particular has become an issue of public health concern. (Environment Health Perspectives, 2009)

Lack of maternal health in the countries of East Africa is a major problem. Over 500,000 of women and girls die of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth each year. Between
20,000 -30,000 more will develop short and long- term disabilities, for example; obstetric fistula, a ruptured uterus, or pelvic inflammatory disease. Maternal mortality rates increases at an
unacceptably high level due to the level of access to medical services, female education, potable water and proper sanitation or indeed the incomes necessary to achieve adequate levels of nutrition. The causes for maternal mortality includes: hemorrhage or bleeding, infection, unsafe abortion, hypertensive disorders, or obstructive labor. A woman who has gone through infibulation, which is a form of genital mutilation, has a greater risk of obstructive labor. Conditions such as anemia, diabetes, malaria, and sexually transmitted diseases can increase a woman’s...

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