Poor sanitation proves expensive for Brazil

The treatment of resulting diseases cost Brazil nearly $25 million

Published in 21/09/2018 - 08:16 By Carolina Gonçalves - Maceió

All across the country, hospital admissions stemming from diseases related to poor sanitation and little access to  quality water cost Brazilian public hospitals nearly $25 million in 2017.

Health authorities have reported 263.4 thousand admissions. The number is high, despite the decrease from the previous year’s 350.9 thousand, and costs adding up to $31.47 million.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every dollar invested in water and sanitation results in $4.2 spared in health care costs. Private organizations linked to sanitation recently met in São Paulo at the National Water Meeting and stressed the statement. Calculations made by the organizations showed that ensuring universal access to sanitation in Brazil would allow $314.4 million to be spared in health care every year.

Saneamento básico em Maceió
Brazil is attempting to meet the target of granting full coverage in its sewage system by 2033- Carolina Gonçalves/Agência Brasil

In the same event, representatives from sanitation-related companies argued that only 1,600 of the country’s 5,570 municipalities have at least one sewage treatment station, and 100 million Brazilians still have no access to sewage treatment. Data from the Trata Brasil Institute show that only 44.92 percent of sewage collected in Brazil is treated today.

Brazil is attempting to meet the target of granting full coverage in its sewage system by 2033. This goal, set forth in the National Basic Sanitation Plan, would require costs totaling $3.66 million a year over the course of 20 years. This is one of the challenges facing government leaders to be elected this year.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Carolina Pimentel / Nira Foster

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