Interventions to improve water quality for preventing diarrhoea

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Interventions to improve water quality are generally effective in preventing diarrhoea, and interventions to improve water quality at the household level are more effective than those at the source.

Diarrhoeal diseases are a leading cause of mortality and morbidity, especially among young children in developing countries. While many of the infectious agents associated with diarrhoeal disease are potentially waterborne, the evidence for reducing diarrhoea in settings where it is endemic by improving the microbiological quality of drinking water has been equivocal. This review assesses the effectiveness of interventions to improve water quality for preventing diarrhoea. These include conventional improvements at the water source (e.g. protected wells, bore holes, and stand posts) and point-of-use interventions at the household level (e.g. chlorination, filtration, solar disinfection, and combined flocculation and disinfection).

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