Excerpt from article titled: Health for all a long way away
Luxury of water
Clean drinking water is a luxury for about 75 per cent of the world’s rural population and about 150 million urban dwellers. According to WHO figures, 220 million Indians do not have access to safe drinking water, and about one million Indian children die because of contaminated water. The UN evaluation of global water resources had ranked India a poor 120th in terms of quality covering 122 nations. A UNICEF report states that more than 1.2 billion of the world’s population do not get adequate water to quench their thirst. And around 10,000 children in the developing countries die every day for want of clean and safe drinking water.
The high concentration of fluoride in drinking water has led to fluoresces [sic; fluorosis] (a crippling disease) in many parts of the country particularly in Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Delhi has also been affected. One thousand villagers of Nasipur in West Bengal’s Birbhum district have been paralysed.
It is apparent that poverty, illiteracy, poor sanitation, malnutrition, scarcity of drinking water and a burgeoning population have made health care a still more difficult task. Alleviation of poverty and an increase in living standards are essential if the goal of “health for all” is to be achieved.