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Public Library of Science Medicine series on water and sanitation sends wake up call to international health community


Groundbreaking publication of papers highlight link between preventable diseases and water, sanitation and hygiene


* Rt Hon, Stephen O’Brien, MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, International Development
* Dr Parveen Kumar, President for the Royal Society of Medicine
* Dr Maria Neira, World Health Organization
* Clarissa Brocklehurst, UNICEF
* Jocalyn Clark, PLoS Medicine
* Dr Vivienne Nathanson, British Medical Association
* Girish Menon, WaterAid


Panel discussion marking the release of four papers in the Public Library of Science Medicine December 2010 edition focussing on water and sanitation.
Also, launch of the SHARE Consortium, a Department for International Development (DfID) initiative that responds directly to the sanitation and water agenda by improving sanitation and hygiene in poor countries.


John Snow Lecture Theatre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, WC1e 7HT.


16 November 2010 17:30-18:15

Background: Four papers released today in PLoS Medicine—the flagship medical journal of the open access publisher Public Library of Science— highlight how sanitation and water, along with better hygiene are the “forgotten foundations of health”. The papers point to the link between high mortality and poor sanitation and water and challenge the health community to ramp up response. The papers says that millions of preventable deaths occur every year, and calls on the health sector to place high priority on addressing stronger goals for water and sanitation. This renewed focus on sanitation comes ahead of World Toilet Day on 19 November—an international day to raise awareness of the global sanitation crisis.

* Globally almost 2.5 million deaths (4.2% of all deaths) could be prevented through safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene.
* 5,500 children die every day as a result of poor water, sanitation and hygiene practices.

On 16 November the entire series will be accessible at


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