Water Is Life - World Water Day 2010

Water is Life

In many parts of the world, especially here in San Francisco, people take for granted the ability to turn on a tap for safe and clean water to drink, to cook, to wash. Yet, each year more than 1 billion of our fellow human beings have little choice but to resort to using potentially harmful sources of water. The deadly impact of using unclean water is staggering.
• 1.8 million people die every year from diarrheal diseases, 90% are children under 5, mostly in developing countries.
• 88% of diarrheal diseases are attributed to unsafe water supply.
• 1.3 million people die of malaria each year, 90% are children under 5. Better management of water resources reduces transmission of malaria and other vector-borne diseases.

Monday, March 22 is World Water Day. At The Institute for OneWorld Health, a non-profit working to develop new medicines to treat diseases like diarrhea and malaria, we are marking this day by advocating for clean water and saluting those who work hard to bring safe drinking water to communities in the developing world.

The root of this underlying catastrophe lies in these plain, grim facts: 4 of every 10 people in the world do not have access to even a simple pit latrine and nearly 2 in 10 have no source of safe drinking-water.

This perpetuates a silent humanitarian crisis that kills some 3900 children every day and continues a cycle of disease and poverty.

We, at OneWorld Health, hope you will join us this World Water Day in bringing attention to the importance of fresh water and the need for safe, effective and affordable medicines to address diseases such as malaria and diarrhea. Water is life.

Richard Chin, M.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Institute for OneWorld Health
50 California St. Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94111