Haiti leads the Western hemisphere in both infant and small child mortality. In 2009, nearly 60 out of every 1,000 children died at birth; 1 of every 10 children born in Haiti will die before the age of 5. The leading cause of these high mortality rates in children is water borne diseases and complications from malnourishment that comes from drinking unsafe water.
Highlighted below are a number of diseases that Haitians face due to poor water quality:
- Viral disease: severe, sudden onset diarrhea
- Bacterial infection: typhoid, cholera, chronic diarrhea
- Parasitic disease: giardia, worms, amebic infection
- Cancer: naturally-occuring chemical toxins such as arsenic, uranium and heavy metals; Man-made chemical toxins such as benzene, lead, mining runoff, and disinfectant by-products