Water and sanitation
According to global statistics for water and health:
- There are 4 billion cases of diarrhoea in the world each year.
- 1.5 million diarrhoeal deaths occur each year because of unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene.
- 10% of people in the developing world are affected by intestinal worms.
- 6 million people are blind from trachoma, which is prevalent in poor, rural communities that lack the tools for basic hygiene, clean water, and adequate sanitation.
- 200 million people in the world are infected with schistosomiasis, which is also commonly caused by poor sanitation.
- Almost one tenth of the global disease burden could be prevented by improving water supply, sanitation, hygiene and management of water sources.
- According to WHO/UNICEF report (Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation 2012 Update), 95% of the population in Viet Nam has access to improved water, but only 23% have piped water on their premises. Some 76% of the population has access to improved sanitation facilities, while 4% still use open defecation.
- The water and sanitation sector in Viet Nam is managed by different ministries. Urban water and sanitation is managed by the Ministry of Construction. Rural water and sanitation is managed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Water quality and sanitation and hygiene issues are managed by the Ministry of Health.
- There is no mechanism for collecting and sharing data and information at the national level.
- There are several definitions of water quality such as nuoc sach (clean water) and nuoc hop ve sinh (sanitary water), leading to confusion and inconsistency in the assessment of water quality.
- Decision makers, investors and donors have difficulty obtaining reliable and systematic data and information describing all aspects of water and sanitation across the whole country.
- Before the Water Safety Plan was introduced by WHO into Vietnam in 2006, hazards and relared risks were not adequately identified and tackled.
- Because of this lack of risk management, water-borne diseases are constant threats to public health.
- Latrine provision in schools is quite low (12%). In many cases, water and sanitation works are built separately at schools and healthcare facilities, leading to ineffectiveness and unsustainability of the premises.
- WHO has been focusing its support to Viet Nam on a variety of aspects, including:
- Strategy, policy, legislation and institutional strengthening;
- Standards, guidelines on water quality, monitoring and evaluation;
- Capacity building, training.
- With support from USAID and in cooperation with UNICEF, WHO has been supporting the Government in setting up a Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) sector assessment process since 2009.
- The WATSAN process is yet to be consolidated to meet the final target of being institutionalized by the Government.
- In partnership with AusAID, WHO has been supporting the setting-up of a water safety plan programme for water supply companies. After Phase 1 (2007-2008) and Phase 2 (2010-2011), 68 water supply companies have been trained on water safety plan
- Viet Nam is currently moving to Phase 3 of the programme, in which more water suppliers are expected to implement water safety plan including rural water supplies.
- WHO supported pilots programmes on integrated water, sanitation and hygiene in schools and healthcare stations in six provinces in the period 2007-2009.