EH-24 Reduce the global burden of disease due to poor water quality, sanitation, and insufficient hygiene

National Data Source
Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD); Consortium including Harvard University, University of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, University of Queensland, and the World Health Organization
Changed Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch
number in thousands 
Baseline (Year)
2,200,000 (2004)
Target-Setting Method
10 percent improvement
Number of deaths attributable to specific causes
Data Collection Frequency
Comparable Healthy People 2010 Objective
Adapted from HP2010 objective


Methodology Notes

The measure includes worldwide deaths due to poor water quality, sanitation, and insufficient hygiene. Poor water supply is composed of two factors - poor water quality (i.e. infection with pathogenic organisms), and poor water quantity (i.e. insufficient amounts for use in personal and domestic hygiene. Poor sanitation is lack of facilities for safe disposal of human excreta. Poor personal hygiene is considered inadequate personal cleansing such that transmission of infections still occurs. Poor domestic hygiene refers to inadequate cleansing of the home, food, or utensils such that transmission of infections still occurs.

References and More Information

  1. GBD Report, WHO, 2004 update Annex A - - p. 54
  2. Global Burden of Disease
  3. Huttly, S. Water, sanitation and personal hygiene. In: Murray, C.J., and Lopez, A.D., eds. Quantifying Global Health Risks: The Burden of Disease Attributable to Selected Risk Factors. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996.
  4. The World Resources Institute. World Resources: A Guide to the Global Environment. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996-1997