Media Analysis Final - Intro to Global Health Media...

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Intro to Global Health February 26, 2013 Media Research Project The Lack of Clean Water in Haiti Water stands as one of the most essential elements to the human life. In terms of survival, the human body can last about 3 weeks without food, but only 3 days without water. Water also holds an incredible importance in bodily functions. 70% of the adult human body is made up of water 1 . With all of its importance in biology and survival, it is astonishing that there are people who lack access to clean water in our modern world. According to a joint study from UNICEF and the World Health Organization, 780 million people worldwide do not have access to improved water sources 2 . This issue of unclean water affects developing countries the greatest. Due to natural disasters and civil unrest, one of the most vulnerable countries to a lack of clean water is Haiti. The following paper will address the issue of unclean water in Haiti and outline why the issue is one of global health. When examining the health effects that unclean water has on a population, one must view the issue through a few water-related diseases. Such diseases include cholera, typhoid, and diarrheal diseases. A 2010 cholera outbreak resulted in 388,950 cases 3 , typhoid is said to be endemic to Haiti 4 and diarrheal diseases are the second most common cause of death in children under 5 years old 5 . Haiti is one of many developing nations that are significantly affected by these water-borne diseases. However, due to recent natural disasters and civil unrest, Haiti lacks the political and structural support needed to establish a healthcare system that fully assesses the problems connected to water-related diseases. This is the key factor in the issue of unclean water in Haiti. Not only are there statistics that clearly show that Haiti’s health has been affected by a lack of clean water, but there is also knowledge that Haiti’s current political state makes the issue even more difficult to solve. Since water is so essential to life, it is easy to see how a lack of clean water can have major health effects on a population. The lack of clean water in Haiti is clearly an issue of global health because the issue is directly related to many diseases that deter good health within the country. The World Health Organization points out how unclean water is related to the three
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