Nav: Home

Interventions to improve water qulaity for preventing diarrhea

October 21, 2015

Researchers from Emory University, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the World Health Organization have carried out an updated Cochrane review to assess the effectiveness of interventions to improve water quality for preventing diarrhoea.

Contaminated water is a major cause of diarrhoea worldwide, especially among young children in low- and middle-income countries. In these settings, water often has to be collected from open rivers or streams, sometimes carried long distances, and frequently stored in open containers.

While reliable, piped-in supplies of clean water are undoubtedly the preferred option, the review authors found no trials assessing this, and only very few trials assessing improvements in the water source such as wells, bore holes, or harvested rain water.

However, the review authors included 47 trials, enrolling more than 72,000 participants, assessing interventions to improve the quality of drinking water in peoples' homes.

"These interventions that address the microbial contamination of water at the point-of-use can be important interim measures to improve drinking water quality," said Professor Thomas Clasen from Emory University, the lead author of the review, "especially as re-contamination often occurs during use in the home, even where the source water is relatively safe".

The review authors found that interventions of distributing chlorine products or sachets of disinfectant to people's homes, to be added to stored water, may reduce diarrhoea episodes by about a quarter, and water filtration at home using various types of filtration systems probably reduces diarrhoea by around a half. They also found some evidence that even very low-tech solutions, such as leaving bottled water in direct sunlight for six hours, may have important protective effects.

"The evidence suggests that the more people use these interventions, the greater the benefits," added Professor Clasen, "so we also need research into practical approaches to increase the coverage and long-term use of these interventions, particularly among the most vulnerable populations".
-end-
The Cochrane review was co-ordinated by the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (CIDG), based at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. The CIDG has been in operation since 1994, led by Professor Paul Garner, and is supported by over 600 authors from 52 countries.

Read the updated review here.

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Related Drinking Water Articles:

Research targets PFOA threat to drinking water
A highly toxic water pollutant, known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), last year caused a number of US communities to close their drinking water supplies.
Neonicotinoids detected in drinking water in agricultural area
Concern over the use of neonicotinoid pesticides is growing as studies find them in rivers and streams, and link them with declining bee populations and health effects in other animals.
Graphene sieve turns seawater into drinking water
Graphene-oxide membranes have attracted considerable attention as promising candidates for new filtration technologies.
Glowing crystals can detect, cleanse contaminated drinking water
Motivated by public hazards associated with contaminated sources of drinking water, a team of scientists has successfully developed and tested tiny, glowing crystals that can detect and trap heavy-metal toxins like mercury and lead.
Study: Conservation preferred way to protect drinking water
A new study from the University of Delaware found when given the choice, people prefer to invest their money in conservation, such as protecting key areas of a watershed -- also referred to as green infrastructure -- than traditional water treatment plants -- also referred to as gray infrastructure.
More Drinking Water News and Drinking Water Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...