LIFE SE ASIA MAGAZINE

  we will writing about this on an ongoing basis at is effecting many parts of the world that just a few years ago there was not a problem.  Will use many sources and try and use science and not the politics!

Water scarcity

In Meatu district, Shinyanga region, Tanzania (Africa), water most often comes from open holes dug in the sand of dry riverbeds, and it is invariably contaminated.

Physical water scarcity and economic water scarcity by country. 2006

Water scarcity is the lack of sufficient available water resources to meet the demands of water usage within a region. It already affects every continent and around 2.8 billion people around the world at least one month out of every year. More than 1.2 billion people lack access to clean drinking water.[1]

Water scarcity involves water stress, water shortage or deficits, and water crisis. While the concept of water stress is relatively new, it is the difficulty of obtaining sources of fresh water for use during a period of time and may result in further depletion and deterioration of available water resources.[2] Water shortages may be caused by climate change, such as altered weather patterns including droughts or floods, increased pollution, and increased human demand and overuse of water.[3] A water crisis is a situation where the available potable, unpolluted water within a region is less than that region’s demand.[4] Water scarcity is being driven by two converging phenomena: growing freshwater use and depletion of usable freshwater resources.[5]

Water scarcity can be a result of two mechanisms: physical (absolute) water scarcity and economic water scarcity, where physical water scarcity is a result of inadequate natural water resources to supply a region’s demand, and economic water scarcity is a result of poor management of the sufficient available water resources. According to the United Nations Development Programme, the latter is found more often to be the cause of countries or regions experiencing water scarcity, as most countries or regions have enough water to meet household, industrial, agricultural, and environmental needs, but lack the means to provide it in an accessible manner.[6]

The reduction of water scarcity is a goal of many countries and governments. The UN recognizes the importance of reducing the number of people without sustainable access to clean water and sanitation. The Millennium Development Goals within the United Nations Millennium Declaration state that by 2015 they resolve to

“halve the proportion of people who are unable to reach or to afford safe drinking water

More than one in every six people in the world is water stressed, meaning that they do not have access to potable water.  In China, more than 538 million people are living in a water-stressed region. Much of the water stressed population currently live in river basins where the usage of water resources greatly exceed the renewal of the water source.

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First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist…. Read More

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out

One-third of the world’s burden of tuberculosis (TB), or about 4.9 million prevalent cases, is found in the World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region.

we are not doctors but bring to you reliable information from sources and give you the link of the source.  Please refer to a medical professional if ill or have questions.

Text from from WHO 

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WHO Home Page Bulletin Home Page Bulletin Home Page About Bulletin e-mail Alert Submissions
Bull World Health Organ. 2010 Mar; 88(3): 164.
PMCID: PMC2828794

Tuberculosis in the WHO South-East Asia Region

One-third of the world’s burden of tuberculosis (TB), or about 4.9 million prevalent cases, is found in the World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region (http://www.who.int/about/regions/searo).The disease, which is most common among people in their productive years,1 has a huge economic impact. For instance, in 2006, TB caused India to lose an estimated 23.7 billion United States dollars.2 In a region where one-fourth of the world’s poorest live,3 TB can lead to catastrophic out-of-pocket expenditure4 and cause patients to lose an average of 3 to 4 months’ wages due to illness-related absence from work.5

TB associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is also an important concern. The age groups most affected by these diseases overlap, and over 50% of those dually affected die.6 Thus, interventions targeting these individuals must be urgently scaled up.6 Fortunately, multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) still occurs in fewer than 3% of new cases and 18% of re-treatment cases in the region.7However, the high TB incidence makes even these low percentages translate into a large number of patients. Extensively drug-resistant TB has also been reported in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand.8

The region is rising to these enormous challenges. Thanks to the expansion of high-quality TB services, case detection in the region had exceeded 69% by 2008 while treatment success rates have consistently surpassed 85% since 2003.8 WHO’s Stop TB Strategy, adopted by all countries of the region in 2006, has broadened the scope of services. A comprehensive intervention package for patients with HIV-associated TB is now available to more than 600 million inhabitants. All national TB programmes are establishing MDR-TB case management services. These were first expanded nationwide in Nepal.8 Thousands of private providers, hundreds of medical schools, corporate institutions, health facilities in non-health sectors and prisons are collaborating with national TB programmes through public-private partnerships.

More than 2 million patients are diagnosed annually by national TB programmes in the region, which thereby contribute greatly to global case detection. India alone notifies nearly 25% of all cases in the world.2 According to WHO estimates, TB prevalence, incidence and mortality in the region have declined steadily since 1990. However, these efforts will not suffice to achieve the TB targets set under Millennium Development Goal 6, which are to halve TB prevalence and mortality and reverse TB incidence by 2015.

National TB programmes must focus on immediate challenges. It is estimated that at least one-third of TB patients go undetected or get treated outside national programmes, mostly with poor outcomes. These patients contribute to disease transmission and are at greater risk of developing drug resistance and dying from TB. It is to address these concerns, while recognizing that 60–70% of patients in the region use private health care,9,10 that national programmes are working with thousands of public and private health-care providers. This initiative needs to be scaled up to ensure that TB services throughout the region comply with international standards for TB care. Preventing further drug resistance also calls for measures to reduce the widespread availability of over-the-counter drugs of uncertain quality and the irrational prescription of anti-TB drugs. At the same time, strategies to improve communication and social mobilization are needed to overcome the socioeconomic and cultural barriers, such as poverty, stigma, gender inequality and discrimination against migrants, that limit access to TB services despite good geographical access in most parts of the region.1114 National TB programmes must also focus more on research to develop cost-effective interventions, replicate successful approaches and explore the use of newer modalities for diagnosis and treatment that are now becoming available.

Further challenges arise from health systems constraints caused by chronic staff shortages, inadequate laboratory facilities, and weak procurement, supply chains and surveillance systems. These challenges need to be effectively addressed. Doing so would help national TB programmes to depend less on the semi-vertical systems that they established to overcome these constraints, while expanding DOTS programmes, over a decade ago.

Since the Stop TB strategy was launched, the scope of TB control activities has expanded beyond the capacity of national TB programmes to ensure quality services. Capacity needs to be urgently enhanced to support the rapid expansion of services for patients with MDR-TB and HIV-associated TB. Financial support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and assistance through bilateral donors have served to strengthen capacity within both national programmes and health systems. However, a more sustainable solution calls for prioritizing ways to resolve the health systems constraints faced by all major health programmes through a stronger commitment to using domestic and external funding more effectively to improve health infrastructure, procurement, logistics, and information systems and to increase human resources for health. Weaknesses in oversight and financial management systems that undermine the effectiveness of external aid must be resolved under the stewardship of national governments. WHO, other technical partners and development agencies must support these efforts in the true spirit of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness

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Short supply of clean water puts 1m Vietnamese at risk Viet Nam News by jackie

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Short supply of clean water puts 1m Vietnamese at risk

 

Publication Date : 31-03-2015

The lack of clean water was affecting 1 million Vietnamese each year, the government’s portal chinhphu.vn reported from a conference held in Ha Noi last week.

The conference was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who stressed on the need for tightening control over the quality of drinking and domestic-use water so that people were no longer afraid of being diagnosed with cancer or other diseases while using tap water.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said at the conference entitled, “Strengthening interdisciplinary and international collaboration for controlling drinking and domestic-use water quality,” that 80 per cent of urban citizens had access to the Health Ministry-acknowledged clean water.

“In rural areas, it is said that 85 per cent of the population has access to useable water but only 42 per cent get ministry-recognised clean water,” Long said.

His report, which was read out at the conference, also brought together international diplomats of countries and organisations that sponsor water supply projects in Viet Nam. The report indicated that about 250,000 people contract acute diarrhoea caused by use of contaminated water in the country annually.

“Over the last four years, some 6 million people have suffered from diseases due to the shortage of clean water,” Long said.

An inspection held nationwide last year found that 21.6 per cent of the larger-capacity water plants (more than 1,000 cubic meters/day-night) and 27.4 per cent of the smaller-capacity plants (less than 1,000 cubic metres) offered water of substandard quality, which was contaminated with micro-organisms, organic substances and higher-than-permissible heavy metal content.

Deputy PM Dam pointed out that it was necessary to identify the point at which tap water was getting contaminated, at the source, in storage tanks or in delivery pipes, citing the fact that water pipes in many cities had been in use for decades and could have decayed, which could be the cause for contamination of water.

He also ordered that checks be conducted to test tap water quality in each of these segments (in the entire flow of tap water) the results of which would be disclosed for a timely remedy.

The Deputy PM also affirmed that laboratories and testing centres for water quality across the country were completely capable of offering reliable water quality tests.

“What is needed is detailed guidance for them, not additional investment,” he said.

A diplomat from the Australian Embassy in Viet Nam shared a good practice from a project financed by Australia in Vinh Phuc Province, whereby locals were provided with water filters and were trained to develop the habit of taking a sample of domestic use water to a test centre every six months.

The project’s implication was so far-reaching that thousands of households near the project had followed suit, the diplomat said.

Meanwhile, representatives of the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Children Fund suggested that authorities should conduct regular checks of water supply plants and pipes.

They also suggested the involvement of the private sector in checking water quality, as well as increasing the delivery of low-cost water-treatment equipment to households.

 

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