INTRODUCTION Authorities in Ecuador are continuing the fight against typhoid which has already claimed many lives there this year.
INTRODUCTION Authorities in Ecuador are continuing the fight against typhoid which has already claimed many lives there this year. Health officials are blaming contaminated water supplies for the spread of the disease.
SYNOPSIS: In one outbreak alone, near the capital of Quito, four thousand people were hit by the disease and at least two died. Residents blame a water reservoir.
More than 20,000 people use the water supply and the local people say a human corpse had been discovered in the reservoir shortly before the outbreak. They also claim occasional animal corpses are also found. The government was forced to declare a state of emergency to cope with the outbreak.
Health authorities blamed a long drought which, they said, had limited supplies for household cleaning and food preparation and created conditions for the outbreak.
The World Health Organisation says that sickness around the world would fall by 80 percent if people in poor countries could be given pure drinking water. The experts say one third of the world's population lacks safe drinking water supplies and typhoid is one of the diseases transmitted through water.
Ecuador is one of the countries which has sought help from the World Health Organisation. Almost 60 percent of WHO's annual budget is for environmental health programmes for providing basic sanitary measures like this water purification facility south of Quito. But it still has a long way to go. The experts estimate that more than 15,000 million U.S. dollars would be needed to reach pure water supply targets by 1980.