Concrete Solutions for Saving Lives
According to UNICEF, every year a staggering 6.9 million children die before the age of five from completely curable diseases. In countries like Bangladesh, approximately 100,000 children die from diarrhea and skin and respiratory illnesses that were contracted from parasites, viruses, and bacteria living in the dirt floors of their home.
It is statistics like these that have prompted nonprofit organizations, including Architecture for Health in Vulnerable Environments (ARCHIVE), to proclaim that housing and health must be seen as indistinguishable. In a new initiative called High Fives (named for its focus on helping at-risk children reach their fifth birthdays), ARCHIVE and NGO partner ADESH will replace the dirt floors of 500 homes in Bangladesh by 2015.
A similar flooring project carried out in Mexico proved the efficacy of this simple solution. In Mexico, installing concrete floors in homes that previously had dirt floors resulted in an 80 percent reduction in parasitic infections and anemia; nearly 50 percent reduction in diarrheal infection; and over 95 percent improvement in children’s cognitive development.
Introducing relatively inexpensive home building solutions for the most vulnerable populations on the planet could lead to huge reductions in curable and preventable diseases and child deaths. Simple design interventions like these can have massive impacts, saving the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of children.
Watch the video to learn more about the High Fives initiative.
[Top Image: Archive Global]