Waterborne diseases in Argentina and Brazil at the beginning of the 21st century
Keywords:Mortality, Water-Related Diseases, Waterborne Diseases, Public Health
This article aims at analyzing the evolution of mortality from waterborne diseases during the first decade of the 21st century, by age groups, comparing two countries of the southern cone: Argentina and Brazil. The method of years of potential life lost (YPLL) due to death, based on the technique described by Eduardo Arriaga, was used. For all death estimates, moving averages are used to establish two periods: 2000-2002 and 2009- 2011. There is a general trend towards a reduction in mortality because of water-related diseases, both in Argentina and Brazil, with an average reduction rate of years of life lost close to 1% per year. This reduction is not uniform for all diseases related to this group of causes; in fact, there are causes that increase their mortality in the period studied, although most are epidemic outbreaks. On the other hand, the group of causes analyzed impacts more on the most vulnerable ages: those under 1 year old and those over 50 years old. The isolated interventions made on the hygiene of the water do not reach the levels of desired success by themselves considering this type of affections, that depend on other factors associated to the health conditions, the quality of life and the health education.