Health and Water

Dirty Water Kills

Dirty water isn’t just icky, it’s deadly. When children drink it, they expose their vulnerable bodies to parasites, and deadly bacteria like E. coli.

It doesn’t matter how healthy the food a child eats is, if all they drink is dirty water. The parasites in their bodies and diarrhea make it hard to absorb the nutrients they eat.

Diarrhea from dirty water kills 3,000 children under 5 years old every day.

Those children who survive dirty water don’t grow the way they should, a condition we call stunting. We can prevent and reverse stunting, but only while a child is young. After age 5, the damage from stunting is largely irreversible and devastates a child’s ability to succeed in school and earn a living as an adult.

The single best way to prevent stunting is to give kids clean water and deworming medicine and teach them how to avoid waterborne illnesses with better sanitation and hygiene.

Saving Lives with You

With the help of partners like P&G, local municipal governments, and each country’s Ministry of Health, we are saving children’s lives, one at a time.

In fiscal year 2013, we installed more than 80 water wells and systems, bathroom facilities, and other clean water sources. These water projects changed the lives of 179,000 children and families who no longer risk parasites and diarrhea with each drink. In parts of Africa, we helped install large-scale water retention systems to collect valuable rainwater for more than 24,000 children and families.

Since many of the moms and dads we meet didn’t finish school themselves and lack medical care, they don’t know how to treat basic childhood illnesses. We cultivate Cascade Groups who help each other learn to recognize and treat diarrhea, follow basic hygiene, and make sure their children receive needed health care, including vaccines, deworming medicine, vitamin A and clinical services.

We also bring health care right to the kids who need it. In fiscal year 2013, we provided nearly 18 million doses of deworming medicine to 14 million children in 12 countries. Our traveling physicians and nurses treated nearly 27,000 patients, dispensed 54,000 prescriptions, gave 8,500 eye exams and provided 2,800 dental exams.

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