Every monsoon, as floods and the loss of lives and property they inflict claim the limelight, away from the spotlight another epidemic quietly claims even more lives: water induced diseases. Wet season ushers in a spate of stomach infections like typhoid, cholera and diarrhea. It is estimated that four fifths of all diseases in developing countries are water induced.
Among them is malaria, which kills a staggering 1,000,000 people every year—the mosquitoes which carry the disease breed in stagnant water. Diarrheal diseases continue to be responsible for 4 percent of the deaths worldwide. According to the World Health Organization,World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit 2013, children in developing countries are the most vulnerable to water borne diseases, where diarrhea is also the leading cause of childhood deaths.
In this context, it is important for the people of Nepal to be prepared for these infectious diseases this monsoon. Spreading awareness about these diseases is the most important measure we can take. In a not too distant past hundreds of lives were lost to diarrhea every year in rural areas, because of the misguided belief that diarrheal patients should not be given any water. The simple knowledge that diarrheal patients need to replenish the liquids they lose by drinking as much fluid as possible has saved many lives in Nepal and elsewhere. Now that this knowledge has permeated widely, we need to build awareness about other diseases that continue to pose a threat to public health.