It is evident that WASH interventions have a multiplier effect and positively impact other health issues and development goals. As the window to achieve the MDGs comes to a close this year and we grow closer to confirming the goals and targets that will shape the next 15 years, we must emphasize the important synergies between WASH and the control and elimination of NTDs.
What does the water in your glass have to do with the health of mothers and babies around the globe? Quite a lot actually. Without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation -- like safe toilet facilities -- women face dangerous health risks in pregnancy, during childbirth and in the postpartum period.
Water is life, and sanitation and hygiene are the basis of health. Yet worldwide, 748 million people don't have access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion people don't have basic sanitation. Each MDG can be advanced by greater inclusion of proper WASH practices, and there is more work to be done.
Sustainable development, climate change, population, and reproductive health are interconnected and the solutions must match this complexity. A successful climate action plan must include a strong commitment to women's empowerment and reproductive health as one of the pillars to address the great climate change and environmental challenges of our generation.