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Climate Change Impacts on Water and Health Among Children in Coastal Bangladesh

Carolina Hernandez-Osorio


Climate change has negatively impacted child and maternal health because of poor water quality that is influenced by salinity levels, fecal contamination, poor hygiene, and metal compound contamination. In this research, I will examine the complexities of water contamination and its relation to health disparities within children and maternal populations. In addition, I will analyze how intervention programs can be improved in order to promote a better life for children and mothers in coastal Bangladesh. It’s important to acknowledge health disparities among young children and mothers in rural villages and how climate change affects underdeveloped countries much faster than developed countries. Important methods used to perform my research was a systematic review of literature works that were found on Google Scholar and PubMed. Some keywords used to conduct my research included: water contamination and management, WASH interventions, animal and human fecal contaminants, high salinity levels, and metal compound contamination. I found that climate change increases the prevalence of fecal and metal compound contamination, water source availability, and water treatments. Young children suffer from diarrheal related deaths because pathogens flood contaminated water which inevitably is consumed by children. I found that young children are more susceptible to diarrheal deaths due to poor hygiene practices and the lack of oral rehydration solutions. This is an ongoing problem that is hindered by poor intervention programs and lack of better infrastructure. I found affordable water filter treatments that can be implemented in intervention programs to reduce the prevalence of diarrheal diseases among young children. Results show that climate change affects water quality and water accessibility, which contributes to childhood mortality rates. Coastal rural villages in western Bangladesh are vulnerable to changing climatic conditions because rising sea levels, poor infrastructure, and lack of accessible resources are constantly contaminating water. From these results, we can learn that underdeveloped countries are primarily affected by climate change because water quality continues to affect young children and diminishes their quality of life.

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