Karen Finn

Karen spent the past 20+ years providing editorial services for leading B2B publications, large corporations, small businesses, individuals and students around the world. Her portfolio includes articles and business communications on pharmaceuticals, medical technology, healthcare policy, regulatory and legal systems, international trade and intellectual property. Her articles have been published in Scrip Regulatory AffairsClinica Medtech IntelligenceMedNousSecuringPharma and International Trade Today, among others.

We drink it, cook with it, wash with it, farm and manufacture with it, bring babies into the world with it and save lives with it. We can’t survive without it. So what can we do about the 663 million people around the world who are without access to safe, clean water? In honour of World Water Day , we’ve tasked ourselves with exploring the current situation, along with some possible answers. We all know that water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are critical to health and wellbeing for the prevention of infectious diseases like cholera. Indeed, inadequate WASH conditions and services cause 1.7 million deaths annually, according to UK charity WaterAid . Of these, nearly 900 children a day die from diarrhoeal diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. Much of this has to do with the lack of proper toilets and sewage treatment, which allows human faeces to contaminate the water supply. As for medical care, a World Health Organization/UNICEF report found that in low resource settings, 38% of health care facilities don’t have an improved water source, 19% don’t have improved sanitation and 35% lack water and soap for hand washing. We’ve reached a breaking point, leaving policy makers, researchers, engineers and human rights advocates (among others) racing against the clock to find a sustainable solution. Along with partners, the WHO and UNICEF have committed to addressing the situation with the aim of achieving universal access in all health facilities, in all settings, by 2030. There are also efforts to improve the overall WASH situation in less developed countries. It seems that the odds are stacked against these proponents of change, but one should never underestimate human determination. People are getting creative and some of the ideas and technologies out there are mind bogglingly clever. For instance,...