International (MNN) — Poverty and lack of access to medical care are significant contributors to disease. Those are tough issues to tackle, but some easy-to-fix environmental factors are also serious culprits.
The World Health Organization reports that more than 3 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diseases with environment-related causes and conditions. Food for the Hungry says causes include things like polluted indoor and outdoor air, contaminated water, and lack of adequate sanitation.
Take a look at some of the environment-related statistics:
Acute respiratory infections kill approximately 2 million children under age 5, and 3 out of every 5 of those deaths can be attributed to environmental conditions.
Diarrhea claims the lives of almost 2 million children each year, and 9 out of 10 are due to contaminated water and inadequate sanitation.
Malaria kills nearly 1 million people; 4 out of 5 are children under age 5 in sub-Saharan Africa; 9 out of 10 cases are attributed to environmental factors.
2 out of every 5 people do not have access to adequate sanitation.
Intestinal worms hijack the nutrition of about 1 million children, all due to lack of sanitation.
Trachoma, a disease caused by the lack of water along with poor hygiene practices, steals the eye sight of more than 6 million people; an adequate water supply could reduce infections by 25%.
FH is working hard to combat each of these health factors. They're working with churches, leaders and families to dig wells for safe water, to build latrines for adequate sanitation, and to provide clean-burning stoves in well-ventilated areas to help reduce respiratory issues.
As FH works to make healthier living conditions for those who are helpless to fix them alone, the ministry also shares about the healing power of Jesus Christ. People see His love lived out through the hands of FH teams.