Designing the Future: Water, Sanitisation and Healthcare

Young people in Sheffield work towards solving some of the major issues in the world.

Designing the Future: Water, Sanitisation and Healthcare

Tash Bright No Comment

These blog posts were collated by Sheffield Futures staff, based entirely on ideas from a range of young people in Sheffield at our ‘Designing the Future’ workshop, where we asked them to discuss various topics, identify the key issues and come up with potential solutions. We strive to give a voice to all young people, so all of their points of view have been included. 



Water sanitisation is a major issue that primarily affects developing countries. Many people aren’t aware that diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death for children under 5, with around 760,000 children dying every year. Even if people do have access to clean water, many don’t realise the importance of simple things like washing your hands regularly – and don’t have the soap to do so. Large companies exploit developing countries by selling water for profit, when clean water is among the most basic of human rights. Medicine is often extremely cheap to produce, but large pharmaceutical companies buy the rights to drugs and hike up the prices for the sake of profit.


Potential solutions

We should focus on educating people from developing countries – money provides a short-term solution, but governments must get together to create an educational strategy to help other countries help themselves. We can equip them with the technology and the knowledge to create their own sources of clean water, and help to educate children about the importance of hygiene. Whilst water would be the first priority – the most immediate problem which often the simplest solution – we can use this model of education to help them build an infrastructure for creating like sewage systems, pharmaceuticals and other healthcare needs.

Government funded research in diseases like trachoma would mean the rights to these crucial medications is in the hands of the right people, not the corporations who are motivated by profits. This would give us an economically viable means to help countries in need in the short-term. Sharing these innovations would become an important part of a long-term strategy to helping these countries to produce the medications for themselves.

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