Nearly half of the world’s population lives in poverty. Millions of people die every year from diseases brought on by starvation and dehydration. Many people in impoverished countries lack adequate food security and clean drinking water, which leads to rampaging water and foodborne diseases.
In many ways, bringing healthier, more sanitary conditions to impoverished countries can not only reduce poverty but also improve national health. When people are forced to live in unsanitary conditions with little to no medical care, diseases run rampant. Many of the diseases that are most common in impoverished areas can be easily prevented.
Decreasing global poverty is the top priority of many of the world’s leading health organizations. Decreasing global poverty can help increase global health.
Unsafe Drinking Water and Waterborne Diseases
Waterborne diseases are extremely common in impoverished areas, such as diarrhea, cholera, salmonella and hepatitis A. Easily contracted, waterborne diseases are caused by microorganisms entering the body from contaminated water.
In the past, Bhutan was considered to have some of the worst drinking water in the world. Many disease outbreaks have occurred in the country, such as bacterial diarrhea and typhoid fever, resulting in high mortality rates. However, in the last decade, the Bhutanese have made substantial efforts to improve their water supply. As of 2015, 100 percent of Bhutan’s people had access to improved drinking water sources. This has grown life expectancy in the country from 64.1 years in 2005 to 69.8 years in 2015.
Malnutrition and Vitamin Deficiency
The human body needs to take in a certain amount of vitamins and nutrients daily to sustain itself. In many impoverished countries, food security is nearly nonexistent. Also, many people in these areas suffer from a lack of resources, a lack of stable income and a lack of product.
Malnutrition can lead to a variety of diseases, including scurvy, rickets and pellagra. In many poverty-stricken countries, such as India, malnutrition is responsible for more than 15 percent of the disease burden. Since India has such a high poverty rate, many people do not have the funds or resources needed for quality nutrition.
This leads to a decrease in strength and a deficient immune system. India has been victim to many disease outbreaks over the years, most recently with the Zika virus in 2017. Malnutrition in India is most commonly seen in children under the age of five.
Over the last decade, India has steadily been getting richer, through poverty is still prevalent. With a decrease in the difference between classes and a more stable economy, India will be able to attain sustainable agriculture. This will increase food security in the country and decrease malnutrition. With stronger, healthier people, many countries can start decreasing global poverty.
Decreasing Global Poverty Leads to Better Living Conditions
By decreasing poverty in heavily stricken areas, living conditions will improve. People will be able to better financially support themselves and afford proper food, which will decrease malnutrition.
Decreasing global poverty can help increase global health. The two go hand in hand. By giving people more opportunities and ways to better themselves and their environment, we can continue decreasing global poverty and create a healthier world.
– Courtney Wallace