Water chlorination may prevent diarrhea in children

Water chlorination may prevent diarrhea in children

A study in the journal “The Lancet Global Health” states that chlorination of water may prevent diarrhea in children. The results have shown that installing an in-line automatic chlorine dispenser can decrease the cases of child diarrhea. This device also avoids the need for change in behavior.

Chlorination is the simplest and cheapest way to purify water

The number of people living in urban areas is increasing rapidly. In poor urban areas, this rapid increase has made it difficult to control infectious diseases. On average, per minute, diarrhea kills a child under 5. Globally, it is the second major cause of death in children.

The study has tried to find a low-cost water treatment device to prevent diarrhea. This device can not only provide good taste water but can also prevent the need for in-home treatment.

In developing countries, only a few cities are capable of maintaining water systems that can continuously pump water. The water in these systems is safe at the source. But after entering pipes there is an increase in the risk of water contamination.

About 1 billion people who receive water from these piped systems drink unsafe water. That doesn’t fall on the international standards for safety. Treatment of water at shared community points can reduce the individual burden of treating water.

The addition of chlorine in water is the simplest and cheapest way to clean water. But the taste and smell of chlorine in water make it difficult to drink. Also, the most common devices for treating water are meant to use in the home and require a behavioral change. These problems have limited the access of people to safe water.

The study has shown that in-line automatic chlorine dispenser is simple to use. It doesn’t require any electricity to work. So, poor areas can use it to make water safe to drink. In this way, this device can prevent diarrhea in children, avoiding the need for treating water at home.

In-line automatic chlorine dispensers can decrease the rate of diarrhea in children

While working in Dhaka and Bangladesh, the research team has analyzed a method of treating water, known as Aquatabs Flo. This method works at community pumps instead of home. It doesn’t need any electricity.

In this method, a precise amount of chlorine is added into the water as it moves through the device. Also, the chlorine remains in water long enough to protect stored water from recontamination in the containers.

To avoid the bad taste of water, the team has surveyed the people in Dhaka to check how much chlorine in water is acceptable. Then, they have set the dispensers to deliver water with low levels of chlorine for the first few months.

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After making people used to it, the team has increased the dose of chlorine up to a level that can purify water effectively. Still, the water remained taste-wise tolerable. This purified water has more than four limes fewer chances to have E coli. E coli. is a bacterium that shows sewage contamination.

The study has tested this device by delivering chlorine in some areas and vitamin C in others. Out of 1000 children, the rate of diarrhea has lowered by 23% in those receiving chlorinated water.

In short, water chlorination using an in-line automatic chlorine dispenser can prevent diarrhea in children. The study has also found this device more effective in poor urban areas. Moreover, currently, this method of purifying water is only compatible with community water points.



The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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