WHO report praises Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin, 89% rural sanitation achieved so far

The World Health Organisation is to release a report today listing out the progress and impact of the Swachh Bharat Grameen mission started by PM Narendra Modi. According to a report in Economic Times, the WHO report is likely to mention that the Swachh Bharat Grameen mission has been able to prevent over 3 lakh deaths due to sanitation-related infectious diseases during 2014 and 2018.

The positive impact on an overall reduction in deaths due to sanitation-related diseases like diarrhoea and protein-energy malnutrition is being attributed to a drastic decrease in open defecation in villages of the country and the phenomenal increase in the number of households with toilets. WHO has reportedly analysed rural health and sanitation data and the health impacts of the Swachh Bharat Grameen mission.

The WHO report also reportedly includes data on the number of deaths over the years due to diarrhoea and protein-energy malnutrition and the decrease in numbers after an increase in household access to toilets in rural India.

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According to the latest data in the website of Swachh Bharat Mission -Grameen, there has been a total of 798.61 lakh toilets built across the country since 2nd October 2014. These numbers include the 96,17,501 toilets built in the 2018-19 financial year alone so far. The website, which updates on a real-time basis, also says that a total of 421 districts in the country have declared themselves to be open defecation free (ODF). 4,09,904 villages and 1,81,174 panchayats have declared themselves ODF so far.

19 states and Union Territories have declared themselves ODF so far. According to the WHO report, rural sanitation in India has gone to 89.07% from a mere 45% in 2014. Previously, the state of Uttar Pradesh had registered the highest growth in the number of toilets built in 2017. With the continued pace, the state is now aiming to achieve the ODF status a year ahead of the national target of 2nd October 2019.

According to the data in the Swachh Bharat Grameen website, 2 states, namely Odisha and Bihar are yet to achieve 75% rural sanitation level.


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