Water, sanitation and urban children: The need to go beyond “improved” provision

This paper reviews the implications of inadequate provi- sion of water and sanitation for children’s health and general development, especially in urban areas. Research into health differentials shows that child mortality and morbidity rates in poor urban settlements can equal or exceed those in rural areas. This review considers, in particular, the higher vulner- ability of children to sanitation-related illness, the links between unsani- tary conditions and malnutrition, the impacts for mental and social development, and the practical day-to-day realities of poor provision for chil- dren and their caregivers in urban areas. It argues that health education and health care, while essential complements to proper provision, can in no way be considered alternative solutions. The true costs for children of a failure to respond to this ongoing emergency lend another dimension to discussions of the cost-effectiveness of various solutions. 

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Title:  Water, sanitation and urban children: The need to go beyond “improved” provision

Author(s): Sheridan Bartlett

Publication Date: 2003

Publisher: Environment and Urbanization