Two widely recognised public health problems in low- and middle-income countries drive our research: reducing maternal mortality and improving access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation facilities, embedded, respectively, in the Millennium Development Goals 5a and 7c. Large improvements have been achieved in the past decade regarding both. Yet, in 2010, there still were 287 000 maternal deaths worldwide; almost all of these occurred in low- and middle-income countries, and most were preventable. By 2011, an estimated 1 billion people still used open defecation and 185 million people relied on using surface water for drinking .
Gon, G., Monzon-Llamas, L., Benova, L., Willey, B. and Campbell, O. M. R. (2014), The contribution of unimproved water and toilet facilities to pregnancy-related mortality in Afghanistan: analysis of the Afghan Mortality Survey. Trop Med Int Health, 19: 1488–1499.