Social Health Benefits

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People Living with HIV/AIDS

Diarrhoea affects 90% of people living with HIV/AIDS and results in significant morbidity and mortality.

Persistent diarrhoea is associated with an 11-fold increase in mortality in HIV-infected children compared to uninfected children.

In Africa, diarrhoea is four times more common among children with HIV and seven times more common among adults with HIV than their HIV-negative household members.

Cryptosporidium has been identified as the most common water-borne pathogen associated with chronic diarrhoea and increased risk of mortality among people living with HIV in low resource settings.

An editorial recently published by the World Health Organization (WHO) noted the importance of using water treatment options that are effective against cryptosporidium, noting that chlorine alone does not address this risk in HIV populations.

LifeStraw® Family 1.0 meets WHO criteria for protecting against cryptosporidium.

Child Health & Child Survival

Diarrhoea kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.

Diarrhoea in children from impoverished areas during their first 2 years might cause, on average, an 8 cm growth shortfall and 10 IQ point decrement by the time they are (14) 7–9 years old.

A recent study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and conducted across 7 countries, found that Cryptosporidium was one of the leading pathogens associated with increased risk of death in toddlers aged 12-23 months.

In the same Gates funded study, rotavirus had the highest disease burden in infants and toddlers, highlighting the importance that water treatment addressing infant and child mortality targets should meet protective criteria for both viruses (rota) and protozoa (cryptosporidium).

LifeStraw® Family 1.0 meets the highly protective category under WHO household water treatment guidelines, addressing viruses, protozoa and bacteria and has specifically been tested to show efficacy against both rotavirus and cryptosporidium.

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Maternal Health

Women who are pregnant are particularly vulnerable to waterborne disease because their immune systems are supressed.

There is evidence that providing access to water treatment and hygiene education during pregnancy will increase a mother’s retention of water-treatment and hygiene practices after birth.

Infections in the first six weeks after childbirth lead to 15% of all maternal deaths, primarily because of poor hygiene practices and poor infection control.

LifeStraw® Family 1.0 will provide microbiologically-safe water for the mother during her pregnancy and for the period when the child is most vulnerable to waterborne disease.

Emergencies

Along with food and shelter, safe water and sanitation are the highest priority interventions in emergency situations. Unless adequate water and sanitation services are quickly provided to emergency-affected children and their families, disease and death will follow.

Diseases such as cholera, gastroenteritis, and other waterborne diseases can often follow natural disasters.

LifeStraw Family 1.0 is an ideal tool for families facing disaster situations. It is lightweight and portable and requires no consumables or energy inputs. It prevents cholera and other waterborne diseases commonly found in disaster settings.

LifeStraw® products have been used in many recent disasters globally, including cyclone Nargis in 2008 which hit Myanmar, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and the 2010 floods in Pakistan. It is also used in on-going disaster settings in conflict regions such as Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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