Lack of access to potable water worsens coronavirus infection risk in children

Lack of access to drinking water and unequal conditions in which they live hundreds of children in Latin America could worsen the vulnerability of this group of coronavirus pandemic. So warns the NGO, Educo.

“To avoid the transmission of the coronavirus it is essential to wash your hands several times a day. This gesture, so simple, save lives, but if there is no clean water in your house, in your school or in your environment, you will not be able to wash them, so the virus will spread rapidly ", said Reinaldo Plasencia, Educo Global Specialist for Child Welfare Programs.

Lack of access to drinking water, adds another structural historical problem of Latin American societies: inequality. This in addition, causes the poorest not to stay at home, because they must go out to look for food; children are the most affected and their access to healthy and decent food is put at risk.

“In many of our schools they receive one or two meals a day and often their correct nutrition depends on the food they receive there.. In their homes they live below the poverty line, on less than a dollar a day. Now that schools in the countries where we work are closed due to COVID-19, these children can suffer from malnutrition ", affirms Plasencia.

According to the organization, Another factor to take into account is the right to education of these boys and girls. Every country has taken action regarding education, in some countries schools are closed or run irregularly; technology has been used in all areas to meet the need to teach, but there are many problems in the use of technologies or access to them by students and teachers.

Educa also points out, the increase in violence due to this situation “the school is a safe place for children against many types of violence that they live in the community and in their own home, now we are forcing them to be all the time in that closest environment, then it is expected that there will be a rebound in violence in those spaces.

But what worries us most is that, if this crisis lasts, the most vulnerable will never go back to school. In the specific case of girls, they are likely to be forced to stay home to take on caregiving roles or they may be forced to marry ", Plasencia noted.