LifeStraw® Family – Introduction

LifeStraw® Family – Introduction

The
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) call for a reduction of the
proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water
by half between 1990 and 2015. Yet, an estimated 884 million people in
the world, 37% of whom live in Sub-Saharan Africa, still use unimproved
sources of drinking water1.

Lack of access to safe
drinking water contributes to the staggering burden of diarrhoeal
diseases worldwide, particularly affecting the young, the
immuno-compromised and the poor. Nearly one in five child deaths –
about 1.5 million each year – is due to diarrhoea. Diarrhoea kills more
young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined2. Drinking contaminated water also leads to reduced personal productive time, with widespread economic effects.

Approximately
43% of the global population, especially the lower-income populace in
the remote and rural parts of the developing world, is deprived of
household safe piped water. Thus, there is a pressing need for
effective and affordable options for obtaining safe drinking water at
home. Point-of-use (POU) treatment is an alternative approach, which
can accelerate the health gains associated with the provision of safe
drinking water to the at-risk populations. It empowers people to
control the quality of their drinking water. In many rural and urban
areas of the developing world, household water-quality interventions
can reduce diarrhoea morbidity by more than 40%3,4. Treating
water in the home offers the opportunity for significant health gains
at potentially dramatic cost savings over conventional improvements in
water supplies, such as piped water connections to households5.

Water
filters have been shown to be the most effective interventions amongst
all point-of-use water treatment methods for reducing diarrhoeal
diseases. The Cochrane3 review demonstrates that it is not
enough to treat water at the point-of-source; it must also be made safe
at the point-of-consumption.

LifeStraw® Family is a point-of-use
instant microbiological water purifier – a truly unique offering from
Vestergaard Frandsen that addresses the concern for affordably
obtaining safe drinking water at home. LifeStraw® Family has the
potential to further the realisation of the MDG target of providing
access to safe drinking water, which would yield health and economic
benefits; thus contributing to the achievement of other MDGs like
poverty reduction, childhood survival, school attendance, gender
equality and environmental sustainability.


References

1. WHO and UNICEF. 2008. Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation
2. UNICEF and WHO. 2009. Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done
3. Clasen T. et al. 2006. Interventions to improve water quality for preventing diarrhea (A Cochrane Review). The Cochrane Library (3). Oxford: Update Software
4. Fewtrell L. et al.
2005. Water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions to reduce diarrhea
in less developed countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Infectious Diseases (5): 42–52
5.
International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group). Safe Water for
All: Harnessing the Private Sector to Reach the Underserved

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