Denise Locker, Editor
Yes, those are rolls of toilet paper you see in the photo above. Are you wondering why they are there?
First, let me ask you a question. What do you think is the leading cause of death in low- and middle-income countries?
a) Malnutrition and undernutrition
b) Tuberculosis and malaria
c) HIV-related diseases
If you guessed “d,” you got it right. Exposures to polluted soil, water, and air killed seven million people in 2014.1
According to the World Health Organization, “Unsafe water supplies and inadequate levels of sanitation and hygiene increase the transmission of diarrhea diseases, including cholera, trachoma, and hepatitis. The use of solid fuels in households is a proxy indicator for household air pollution. Using solid fuels such as wood, charcoal, and crops is associated with increased mortality from pneumonia and other acute lower respiratory diseases among children, as well as increased mortality from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer (where coal is used), and other diseases among adults.”2
This issue of Healing Lives focuses on prevention and how together we can stop diseases before they get a foothold.
On page 8 Regional Coordinators Bill and Sharon write an intriguing article about how communities are building resilience into their lives, communities that are located in established paths of natural disasters. MAI President John Payne has a short article with an attention-grabbing twist on latrines on page 4. If you want to know how your involvement can make a difference, go directly to the back cover.
So why toilet paper? Because something as simple as toilet paper, washing your hands, drying your dishes in the sun, and many other Community Health Evangelism teachings can prevent diseases.
With this issue we hope you will join the team and Help Wipe Out Disease!
2 World Health Organization Department of Health Statistic & Information Systems of the Health Systems & Innovation Cluster 2000-2015