Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

The efficacy of household water treatment (HHWT) in reducing water-borne disease in complex emergency settings

Poster Number

46

Document Type

Poster

Status

Graduate Student - Masters

Abstract Category

Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

water treatment; complex emergencies; waterborne disease

Publication Date

4-2017

Abstract

Of the 1.8 billion deaths caused by diarrheal disease worldwide, contaminated water is the leading cause. A 40 percent increase in morbidity and mortality has been shown in emergency relief camps attributable to diarrheal disease. Therefore, access to clean water is an essential first step during complex emergency relief to reduce the risk of disease and death. Household water treatment (HHWT) has been proven effective in developmental settings, but the impact of HHWT in emergency settings lacks conclusive evidence. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the quantity and quality of evidence related to HHWT interventions in complex emergencies and to uncover any gaps in the literature. A systematic literature review was performed through electronic database searches using specific inclusion and exclusion criteria to measure water-borne disease outcomes against HHWT interventions. Of interest were articles published online, in English, after 1995, with quantitative or qualitative outcomes directly related to both the health status and intervention type. A total of 524 studies were identified, and 7 studies were included in this review after meeting the strict inclusion criteria. All of the studies used HHWT methods, two of them measured experimental technology, four of the studies accounted for natural disasters, and one study accounted for forced resettlement. Three cross-sectional studies, two experimental studies, one case study, and one unblended randomized control trial were included. It was found that HHWT methods are more effective after the acute phase of emergencies, while large scale treatment methods are more effective in the acute phase. Household chlorination is the method showing the highest and only corroborated success rate. The evidence surrounding the association of HHWT interventions and a reduction of water-borne disease in complex emergencies is limited and a gap in the literature has been identified. Future research should focus on standardizing research methods in emergencies, testing experimental technology, and measuring disease status rather than using proxy measures. Overall, there is a need for better program design, implementation, and evaluation of HHWT in emergency settings.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access

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Poster to be presented at GW Annual Research Days 2017.

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The efficacy of household water treatment (HHWT) in reducing water-borne disease in complex emergency settings

Of the 1.8 billion deaths caused by diarrheal disease worldwide, contaminated water is the leading cause. A 40 percent increase in morbidity and mortality has been shown in emergency relief camps attributable to diarrheal disease. Therefore, access to clean water is an essential first step during complex emergency relief to reduce the risk of disease and death. Household water treatment (HHWT) has been proven effective in developmental settings, but the impact of HHWT in emergency settings lacks conclusive evidence. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the quantity and quality of evidence related to HHWT interventions in complex emergencies and to uncover any gaps in the literature. A systematic literature review was performed through electronic database searches using specific inclusion and exclusion criteria to measure water-borne disease outcomes against HHWT interventions. Of interest were articles published online, in English, after 1995, with quantitative or qualitative outcomes directly related to both the health status and intervention type. A total of 524 studies were identified, and 7 studies were included in this review after meeting the strict inclusion criteria. All of the studies used HHWT methods, two of them measured experimental technology, four of the studies accounted for natural disasters, and one study accounted for forced resettlement. Three cross-sectional studies, two experimental studies, one case study, and one unblended randomized control trial were included. It was found that HHWT methods are more effective after the acute phase of emergencies, while large scale treatment methods are more effective in the acute phase. Household chlorination is the method showing the highest and only corroborated success rate. The evidence surrounding the association of HHWT interventions and a reduction of water-borne disease in complex emergencies is limited and a gap in the literature has been identified. Future research should focus on standardizing research methods in emergencies, testing experimental technology, and measuring disease status rather than using proxy measures. Overall, there is a need for better program design, implementation, and evaluation of HHWT in emergency settings.