World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday complimenting India's effort towards safe sanitation services, said that Swachh Bharat Mission (Clean India Mission) could prevent up to three lakh deaths due to diarrhea and protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) by October 2019.
"As the initial results of a WHO modelling study on the health impact of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) outline, India's accelerated coverage of safe sanitation services, and its determination to end open defecation, will have a substantial effect on the burden of diarrheal disease and PEM by reducing mortality and accumulative Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs)," said WHO quoting Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director for South-East Asia.
‘Modi's Swachh Bharat could save 3 lakh lives, reports WHO and appreciates India's effort towards accelerated sanitation coverage.’
According to WHO, the Swachh Bharat Mission could result in over 14 million more years of healthy life in the period measured, with the benefits accruing yearly thereafter.
"That is especially remarkable given that before 2014 unsafe sanitation caused an estimated 199 million cases of diarrhea annually, with modeling showing the problem will almost be eliminated when the universal use of safe sanitation facilities is achieved," she added.
According to Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, sanitation coverage in rural India, under the Swachh Bharat Mission rose to 85 percent with 7.4 crore toilets built across rural India. As a result over 3.8 lakh, villages and 391 districts were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) this year.
"India pursues WHO South-East Asia's Flagship Priorities and strives to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals, including Sustainable Development Goal 6, which obliges countries to ensure access to safe water and sanitation for all, and Sustainable Development Goal 3, which obliges them to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages," Singh said.