Intended for healthcare professionals


Governments must speed up action to enable access to clean water for all, say UN bodies

BMJ 2023; 380 doi: (Published 22 March 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;380:p694
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. Kent

The World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund have called for a quadrupling of the current rates of progress in order to reach sustainable development goal 6 (SDG 6)—universal access to drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) by 2030.

A joint statement, made at the start of the first UN Water conference in 50 years, said that each year at least 1.4 million people die from preventable causes linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation.1 Cholera, for example, is currently spreading in countries that have not had outbreaks for decades.

Today two billion people do not have safe drinking water and almost half the world’s population (3.6 billion people) use sanitation services that leave human waste untreated. Half of all healthcare facilities lack water …

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