Solar disinfection improves drinking water quality to prevent diarrhea in under-five children in Sikkim, India
BB Rai1, Ranabir Pal2, Sumit Kar2, Dechen C Tsering3
1 Voluntary Health Association of Sikkim (VHAS), Sikkim, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences (SMIMS) and Central Referral Hospital (CRH), 5th Mile, Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim, 737 102, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, 5th Mile, Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim, 737 102, India
Department of Community Medicine, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences (SMIMS) and Central Referral Hospital (CRH), 5th Mile, Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim, 737 102
Source of Support: ENPHO Kathmandu, Nepal,, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Solar radiations improve the microbiological quality of water and offer a method for disinfection of drinking water that requires few resources and no expertise and may reduce the prevalence of diarrhea among under-five children. Aims and Objectives: To find out the reduction in the prevalence of diarrhea in the under-five children after consumption of potable water treated with solar disinfection method. Materials and Methods: This was a population-based interventional prospective study in the urban slum area of Mazegoan, Jorethang, south Sikkim, during the period 1 st May 2007 to 30 th November 2007 on 136 children in the under-five age group in 102 households selected by random sampling. Main outcome measure was the assessment of the reduction of the prevalence of diarrhea among under-five children after consumption of potable water treated with solar disinfection method practiced by the caregivers in the intervention group keeping water in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles as directed by the investigators. The data were collected by the interview method using a pre-tested questionnaire prepared on the basis of socio-demographics and prevalence of diarrhea. The data were subjected to percentages and chi-square tests, which were used to find the significance. Results: After four weeks of intervention among the study group, the diarrhea prevalence was 7.69% among solar disinfection (SODIS) users, while 31.82% prevalence was observed among non-users in that period; the reduction in prevalence of diarrhea was 75.83%. After eight weeks of intervention, the prevalence of diarrhea was 7.58% among SODIS users and 31.43% among non-users; the reduction in diarrhea was 75.88% in the study group. The findings were found to be statistically significant. Conclusions: In our study, we observed that the prevalence of diarrhea decreased significantly after solar disinfection of water was practiced by the caregivers keeping potable water in PET bottles in the intervention group.