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Water, sanitation and hygiene have important impacts on both health and disease.

Water-related diseases include: 

  • those due to micro-organisms and chemicals in water people drink;

  • diseases like schistosomiasis which have part of their lifecycle in water;

  • diseases like malaria with water-related vectors;

  • drowning and some injuries;

  • and others such as legionellosis carried by aerosols containing certain micro-organisms.

Inadequate drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene are estimated to cause 842,000 diarrhoeal disease deaths per year (WHO 2014), and contribute substantially to the other diseases listed below.