The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for water: Are they achievable, and what are the implications for global health challenges?
In South East Asia, one billion people lack access to ‘improved sanitation facilities’ and only half of the population in the Pacific Island countries have access to such facilities. Poor hygiene and unsanitary living conditions in remote Australian Aboriginal communities have contributed to children experiencing a higher rate of common infectious diseases than non-Aboriginal, urban communities.
Access to clean, safe water and sanitation are key interventions for primary health prevention and could reduce the global disease burden by almost ten percent. The United Nations seeks to address this situation through Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6), to ‘ensure access to water and sanitation for all’.
Two experts from the World Health Organisation will co-present a GCI Insights seminar on global health challenges from unsafe drinking water and inadequate sanitation- and the potential for the Sustainable Development Goals to improve this global challenge. They will highlight their presentation with case studies from their recent SDG training in the Pacific. They are visiting Australia as keynote speakers and specialist trainers for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Futures conference in Brisbane (May 16-20; Brisbane; register here.
About the Speakers
Mr Bruce Gordon is a member of the Healthy Environments for Children Alliance Secretariat of the World Health Organisation, and a researcher in the area of health and sustainable development. Prior to joining WHO in 2002, he participated in environmental management, capacity-building and development studies in Thailand, Vietnam, and Peru. He is a recipient of a Canadian International Development Agency Innovative Research Award.
Mr Rifat Hossain is a monitoring specialist with the World Health Organisation’s Division of Public Health and the Environment in Geneva. He has delivered training on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in Pacific Island countries.