Water-borne Diseases Impact Around 37.7 Mn Indians Annually Say Experts

80 per cent of global diseases are water-borne which arise out of the consumption of unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene practices

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) organised a webinar on ''Water Borne Diseases-Prevention & Symptoms '' with the paramount objective to cascade awareness and disseminate knowledge about Water Borne Disease, to lead a healthier, happier, and prosperous life.  

Viruses and bacteria among other microscopic organisms that are ingested through contaminated water can induce conditions known as waterborne infections. Many diseases can be spread when bathing, washing, drinking, or eating food that has come into contact with contaminated water. Typhoid, hepatitis A, jaundice, and diarrhoea are a few of the most prevalent water-borne illnesses in India.

Anil Rajput, Chairperson, ASSOCHAM CSR Council, in his welcome address said, “Water stands out to be the most essential element in our lives as human body constitutes 60 per cent of water." Highlighting the high burden of water borne diseases he said 80 per cent of the global diseases are water borne which arise out of consumption of unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene practices.

“While water is life, clean water is health. Public awareness on drinking safe water and maintaining high standards of personal cleanliness and sanitation is extremely vital in keeping water borne diseases at bay”, he added.

Dr Sanjeev Bagai, Pediatrician Chairman, Nephron Clinic provided insight into the pathogenic microorganisms, toxic exudates they produce, and other contaminants that work together to cause serious illnesses like cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid, amebiasis, hepatitis, gastroenteritis, giardiasis, campylobacteriosis, scabies, and worm infections, to name He continued, "Water borne infections can only be stopped and prevented by WASH (Water and Sanitation Hygiene). He said that each year, 1.5 million people die from water-borne infections worldwide.

He went on to say Due to inadequate cleanliness and weakened immunity, children are most affected by the majority of water-borne infections globally. The majority of these illnesses pose a risk to life. With the onset of globalisation over the past few decades, knowledge of the various types of water-borne diseases has advanced.

According to Dr Paras Gangwal, Consultant Physician, Internist and Intensivist, most hospital admissions are for water borne diseases. Abdominal pain, cramps, dizziness, and nausea are a few of the symptoms and it is advised that if a person has breathing issues or is unable to urine should consult a doctor. Poor hygiene and sanitation are the major issues that lead to such a situation.

Mostly diarrhoea can cause death in immunocompromised individuals, the very young, and the elderly due to dehydration from prolonged illness, which is caused by E coli infection, he added.

While moderating the discussion, Dr Rajesh Kesari, Founder and Director Total Care Control, Delhi NCR EC Member, RSSDI concluded by sharing preventive measures At a personal level, one must follow sanitary hygiene with discipline. Wash your hands with soap after using the toilet and before touching any food items. Educating friends and family on the dangers of water-borne diseases is needed.

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