Effective collaboration between corporations, nongovernmental organizations, governments and individuals can help eliminate mortality caused by unclean drinking water, according to Chelsea Clinton.
Through her work with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), the daughter of the former US president has visited communities to witness the benefits of work being done to fight water-borne diseases. The tremendous strides made in recent years inspire hope that an end to deaths caused by public health scourges like water-borne illnesses and AIDS is possible, Clinton says.
“From reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS to providing clean drinking water to rural communities, these programs are examples of how, when corporations, NGOs, governments, and people work together, incredible strides can be made to [overcome] challenges that were once thought intractable. These achievements give me hope that other countries will be able to replicate these models and provide similar health care access to individuals — and that, in my lifetime, we’ll achieve an AIDS-free generation and eliminate mortality caused by unclean water,” Clinton wrote in a recent Huffington Post column about her travels in Asia.
Unclean water is responsible for thousands of deaths annually from cholera, diarrhea and other water-borne illnesses. Globally, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), 2,000 children die every day from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water. That is more than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.
The Clinton Global Initiative is currently in a partnership with Procter & Gamble (P&G) to deliver clean water in Myanmar (also known as Burma). Clinton visited a village there where P&G had been working for a couple of months. P&G has made a commitment to CGI to deliver more than two billion liters of clean drinking water every year by 2020, the goal being to save one life every hour of every day of every week of every year.
P&G also recently announced a partnership with USAID focused on child and maternal health in Myanmar, which will provide 200 million more liters of clean drinking water in the next two years. The initiative will provide villages with P&G Purifier of Water packets. The investment will be about $2 million over the first two years of the partnership, according to USAID. This is not the first time USAID has partnered with P&G to provide clean drinking water. The two organizations have previously partnered in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Malawi, Nicaragua, Pakistan and other countries.
– Liza Casabona
Sources: Huffington Post, USAID
Photo: NY Magazine