Editorials

Water, sanitation, and hygiene at Kyoto

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7405.3 (Published 03 July 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:3
  1. Val Curtis, senior lecturer in hygiene promotion,
  2. Sandy Cairncross, professor of environmental health (Val.curtis@lshtm.ac.uk)
  1. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT

    Handwashing and sanitation need to be marketed as if they were consumer products

    When John Snow removed the handle of the Broad Street pump in London's Soho in 1854, he took his place in history as the discoverer of the mode of transmission of cholera and the father of epidemiology. But were Snow alive today he would be horrified to hear that we still only apply the benefits of his insights to the richest half of humanity and that, as a result, over 2 million children still die each year from diarrhoeal diseases.1 He would also be amazed to find that our understanding of diarrhoeal diseases and how to prevent them has advanced very little in the century and a half since he wrote his famous paper.g2 One of the greatest failures of the last century has undoubtedly been the failure to lay the foundation stones of public health in the developing world—hygiene, sanitation, and water supply. Did the Third World Water Forum, held in …

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