Water is of vital importance to humanity for nutrition and hygiene. However, more than 2 billion people, mainly in developing countries, do not have access to safe drinking water or adequate sanitation and are at risk from potentially severe infectious diseases linked to the presence of bacteria, viruses, or parasites. As much as fifty-eight percent of groundwater sampled in the Philippines harbor coliform and other water-borne disease-causing microorganisms. The mortality rate due to cholera has reached record-high proportions in many Third World countries with as much as 1.4 million children dying of severe diarrhea each year.
This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) explains how water is polluted by microbes, enumerates regional, socio-anthropological, and peculiarities that favor water pollution, and describes the most common infectious diseases transmitted by ingestion or contact with water.
The MOOC further explains why making water consumable and ensuring satisfactory sanitary conditions is an “intersectoral” work bringing together health actors, politicians, and engineers as the GTFCC (Global Task Force for Cholera Control). Ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all is one of WHO’s 17 Goals for the coming years.