Preventing diarrhoea with household ceramic water filters: Assessment of a pilot project in Bolivia

ArticleinInternational Journal of Environmental Health Research 16(3):231-9 · July 2006with36 Reads
Impact Factor: 1.57 · DOI: 10.1080/09603120600641474 · Source: PubMed
Abstract

In an attempt to prevent diarrhoea in a rural community in central Bolivia, an international non-governmental organization implemented a pilot project to improve drinking water quality using gravity-fed, household-based, ceramic water filters. We assessed the performance of the filters by conducting a five-month randomized controlled trial among all 60 households in the pilot community. Water filters eliminated thermotolerant (faecal) coliforms from almost all intervention households and significantly reduced turbidity, thereby improving water aesthetics. Most importantly, the filters were associated with a 45.3% reduction in prevalence of diarrhoea among the study population (p = 0.02). After adjustment for household clustering and repeated episodes in individuals and controlling for age and baseline diarrhoea, prevalence of diarrhoea among the intervention group was 51% lower than controls, though the protective effect was only borderline significant (OR 0.49, 95% CI: 0.24, 1.01; p = 0.05). A follow-up survey conducted approximately 9 months after deployment of the filters found 67% being used regularly, 13% being used intermittently, and 21% not in use. Water samples from all regularly used filters were free of thermotolerant coliforms.

    • "We conducted sub-group analysis by treatment status, but found that treatment status was not a significant predictor in any of the models, either for any of the studies individually or for all the studies combined (Table S2and S3). Season was controlled for in all models except those for the Bolivia study (Clasen et al. 2006) which was conducted entirely within the dry season. Models fitted using the combined data set were also adjusted for study identifier. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fecally-contaminated drinking water is believed to be a major contributor to the global burden of diarrheal disease and a leading cause of mortality among young children. However, recent systematic reviews and results from blinded studies of water quality interventions have raised questions about the risk associated with fecally-contaminated water, particularly as measured by thermotolerant coliform (TTC) bacteria, a WHO-approved indicator of drinking water quality. We investigated the association between TTC in drinking water and diarrhea using data from seven previous studies. We obtained individual-level data from available field studies that measured TTC levels in household-drinking water and reported prevalence of diarrhea among household members during the seven days prior to the visit. The combined data set included diarrhea prevalence on 26,518 individuals and 8,000 water samples from 4,017 households, yielding 45,052 observations. The odds of diarrhea increased for each log10 increase in TTC/100ml by 18% (95% CI: 11-26%) for children <5 and 12% (95% CI: 8-18%) for all ages. For all ages, the odds of diarrhea increased by 21%, 35% and 49% for those whose household water samples were from 11-100, 101-1000 and >1000 TTC/100ml, respectively compared to <1 TTC/100 ml. We found no evidence of increased odds of diarrhea with contamination levels below 11 TTC/100 ml, either in adults or children. Our analysis of individual-level data shows increased risk of diarrhea with increasing levels of TTC in drinking water. These results suggest an association between fecally-contaminated water and diarrheal disease and provides support for health-based targets for levels of TTC in drinking water and for interventions to improve drinking water quality to prevent diarrhea.
    Full-text · Article · May 2016 · Environmental Health Perspectives
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    • "Assessments of various water treatment methods that improve water quality, and thus, potentially reduce diarrhoea have been conducted worldwide. Point of use water treatment using filters, solar energy, flocculant-disinfectant, and chlorine, as well as community hygiene education have all been shown to reduce diarrhoea to various degrees [6-17]. However, studies have not been specifically conducted to address the problem in the northeast rural regions of Brazil, where water is not only of poor quality, but is also scarce. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Lack of access to safe and secure water is an international issue recognized by the United Nations. To address this problem, the One Million Cisterns Project was initiated in 2001 in Brazil’s semi-arid region to provide a sustainable source of water to households. The objectives of this study were to determine the 30-day period prevalence of diarrhoea in individuals with and without cisterns and determine symptomology, duration of illness and type of health care sought among those with diarrhoea. A subgroup analysis was also conducted among children less than five years old. Methods A face-to-face survey was conducted between August 20th and September 20th, 2007 in the Agreste Central Region of Pernambuco State, Brazil. Households with and without a cistern that had at least one child under the age of five years were selected using systematic convenient sampling. Differences in health outcomes between groups were assessed using Pearson’s Chi-squared and two-way t-tests. Demographic variables were tested for univariable associations with diarrhoea using logistic regression with random effects. P-values of 0.05 or less were considered statistically significant. Results A total of 3679 people from 774 households were included in the analysis (1863 people from 377 households with cisterns and 1816 people from 397 households without cisterns). People from households with a cistern had a significantly lower 30-day period prevalence of diarrhoea (prevalence = 11.0%; 95% CI 9.5-12.4) than people from households without a cistern (prevalence = 18.2%; 95% CI 16.4-20.0). This significant difference was also found in a subgroup analysis of children under five years old; those children with a cistern had a 30-day period prevalence of 15.6% (95% CI 12.3-18.9) versus 26.7% (95% CI 22.8-30.6) in children without a cistern. There were no significant differences between those people with and without cisterns in terms of the types of symptoms, duration of illness and health care sought for diarrhoea. Conclusions Our results indicate that the use of cisterns for drinking water is associated with a decreased occurrence of diarrhoea in this study population. Further research accounting for additional risk factors and preventative factors should be conducted.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · BMC Infectious Diseases
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    • "However, studies show that several water filtration technologies have been started to resolve potable water scarcity in the world [4]. These include: Chlorination, chemical coagulants, sunlight exposure techniques, filtration techniques such as nano-membrane filtration, reverse osmosis technique, organic additive based ceramic filters [2,567891011. UNICEF has in Myanmar initiated water purification technology at the household level [12] and has distributed more than 3,000 ceramic water filters to villages and schools. This has made more than 80% of the households to have about 90% customer satisfaction in water hygiene [13]. "
    Preview · Article · Jan 2013
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