In the poorest,
least industrialized nations, diarrheal diseases caused by contaminated
food and water remain a leading cause of death in childhood. Many of these
deaths could be prevented by simple sanitation measures.
from ministries of health, funding from USAID and Rotary International,
and special expertise from nongovernmental organizations and the private
sector, CDC has developed a sustainable way to improve the safety of household
drinking water. The components of CDC's safe water system, as implemented
in pilot projects in Zambia, include
disinfection. Population Services International (PSI) has marketed
a locally produced disinfectant solution for water treatment (CLORIN)
to communities in the southern, eastern, and western regions of Zambia.
A CDC case-control study documented a 65% reduction of risk of cholera
in Zambian households that use CLORIN.
storage of water. CDC, the Procter and Gamble Company, and Rotary
International have contributed to the design of a narrow-mouthed vessel
for safe storage of water. The mold for the new vessel was shipped to
South Africa in January 2000, where vessels have been produced for use
in Zambia, Madagascar, Kenya, Côte dIvoire, and Pakistan.
marketing. PSI has trained public health workers in Lusaka, Kitwe,
and Ndola, Zambia, on how to involve their communities in the safe-water
increased funding for the safe water project in Zambia to permit nationwide
coverage within the next few years, and the CARE/CDC Health Initiative
is funding similar projects in western Kenya and in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
Each CARE/CDC Health Initiative project will target a population of 200,000
people and combine the methods of the Zambian project with the community
organizing techniques of CARE.
In the future,
the elements of the Safe Water System may also be used to promote:
preparation of foods and beverages by street vendors
preparation of medications, such as oral rehydration solutions to treat
preparation of formula for use by HIV-infected women who choose not
to breast-feed their infants
and improvements in hygiene
of nutritional supplements to drinking water
safe water storage vessel employed by participants in
an ongoing Safe Water System implementation project
in Homa Bay, Kenya, initiated in October 2000 in collaboration
with CARE Kenya. The vessel
was designed to eliminate a major source of diarrheal
disease contamination that results when hands, cups,
ladles, or other objects are dipped into open buckets
to remove water for drinking. Because the local population
in Homa Bay preferred to use vessels made of clay rather
than plastic, CDC and CARE Kenya incorporated a narrow
mouth, lid, and spigot into traditional clay pots to
ensure safe water storage. The use of plastic vessels
with similar characteristics, in combination with water
disinfectants, has reduced diarrheal diseases by 3050%
in communities in Zambia, Pakistan, and Bolivia.
Bobbie Person, Office of Health Communication, National
Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC