Environmental Gradients and Health Inequalities in the Americas. Access to Water and Sanitation as Determinants of Health
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Water and sanitation are fundamental components of development and, as such, they should be recognized and defended as public health goods. Above all, water and sanitation are core elements in the realization of human dignity, and they are therefore fundamental human rights, which in fact were recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010. This report shows that, while the Region of the Americas as a whole was on track to meet the targets of Millennium Development Goal 7 in water and sanitation, large, pervasive, and growing inequalities between and within countries remain hidden behind the regional averages. The first step is to document, measure, and monitor these inequalities. This report could serve as a benchmark for assessing the impact of actions taken toward health equity under the new and existing policies and comparing the results over time. Tackling this environmentally determined health inequalities should be the highest priority in the post-2015 development agenda: inequality is a growing threat to both global health governance and sustainability.
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