Welcome to “Preventing Waterborne Illnesses – the Major Cause of Death in Developing Countries”


Hi, my name is [PRESENTER NAME]. I’m [PRESENTER ROLE]. Welcome to “Preventing Waterborne Illnesses – the Major Cause of Death in Developing Countries”


This video will teach you about the various types of waterborne illnesses, who is affected by them, and how they can be prevented.


Worldwide, over 2 billion people lack access to a safe water supply.  It is estimated that over 2 million individuals, most of them children, die each year from preventable waterborne diseases. 

That’s 14,000 deaths daily or one death every 15 seconds – from a completely preventable illness.


Waterborne diseases are caused by infectious agents that can be present in the water, soil, or air.  These agents include bacteria, viruses, and parasites. 


The most common way these diseases affect the body is by causing diarrhea, in addition to other symptoms. Infants, children, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems (such as those with HIV or AIDS) are especially vulnerable to waterborne diseases.


These diseases are spread in several ways.

1) Most commonly when individuals drink impure water.  In developing countries water is often contaminated by feces containing disease causing agents from humans or animals, in addition to other organisms. People who drink the contaminated water may develop a waterborne illness resulting in diarrhea or other symptoms.

2) Waterborne illnesses can also spread when individuals get infectious agents on their hands and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. This is especially likely to occur when people can’t or don’t wash their hands correctly.


So how do you know when a person has a waterborne disease? Symptoms include abdominal cramping, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. In vulnerable populations such as infants, children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems, the diarrhea often leads to severe dehydration and malnutrition, which in turn, often leads to death.


How can you reduce your own risk of contracting a waterborne disease? First, and most important, drink only clean water. Sources of clean water include deep wells, natural streams in remote areas that have not been contaminated by human and animal wastes upstream, urban water systems that utilize chlorinated water, and purified water from filtration systems.  The second way to reduce your risk of contracting a waterborne disease is to wash your hands correctly, especially before you prepare food or eat. Third, wash fruits and vegetables in clean water before you eat them. And fourth, if you go swimming, avoid swallowing the water.


How can a village or city reduce its risk of outbreaks of waterborne illness? The most important steps are to provide everyone reliable access to clean water and ensure that human wastes are disposed of in a way that won’t contaminate the water supply or expose others to them.


There are several ways to provide reliable access to clean water. These include digging a deep well, piping clean water in from a remote source, using a water filtration system, or installing a central water treatment and chlorination facility. Waterborne illnesses are preventable. By using modern technology and working together, we can improve water quality for those in the most remote areas of the world. This is [PRESENTER NAME].