Half a million children under the age of 5 died from diarrhoea and diarrhoea-related illnesses in 2015, and 1.3 million people of all ages. It is the fourth biggest killer globally of young children, and this is despite the fact that the number of deaths from these diseases fell by 34% between 2005 and 2015 following major improvements to water supplies and sanitation.
Yael Velleman, senior policy analyst on health and hygiene at the NGO WaterAid, said: “It’s always wonderful news when we find out that less children are dying from diarrhoea. But if we’re honest about it, there is still a glass half empty. Half a million deaths of children under five is totally unacceptable, especially when we know these deaths are largely preventable.”