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      Access to Safe Water in Rural Artibonite, Haiti 16 Months after the Onset of the Cholera Epidemic


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          Haiti has the lowest improved water and sanitation coverage in the Western Hemisphere and is suffering from the largest cholera epidemic on record. In May of 2012, an assessment was conducted in rural areas of the Artibonite Department to describe the type and quality of water sources and determine knowledge, access, and use of household water treatment products to inform future programs. It was conducted after emergency response was scaled back but before longer-term water, sanitation, and hygiene activities were initiated. The household survey and source water quality analysis documented low access to safe water, with only 42.3% of households using an improved drinking water source. One-half (50.9%) of the improved water sources tested positive for Escherichia coli. Of households with water to test, 12.7% had positive chlorine residual. The assessment reinforces the identified need for major investments in safe water and sanitation infrastructure and the importance of household water treatment to improve access to safe water in the near term.

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          Global Access to Safe Water: Accounting for Water Quality and the Resulting Impact on MDG Progress

          Monitoring of progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) drinking water target relies on classification of water sources as “improved” or “unimproved” as an indicator for water safety. We adjust the current Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) estimate by accounting for microbial water quality and sanitary risk using the only-nationally representative water quality data currently available, that from the WHO and UNICEF “Rapid Assessment of Drinking Water Quality”. A principal components analysis (PCA) of national environmental and development indicators was used to create models that predicted, for most countries, the proportions of piped and of other-improved water supplies that are faecally contaminated; and of these sources, the proportions that lack basic sanitary protection against contamination. We estimate that 1.8 billion people (28% of the global population) used unsafe water in 2010. The 2010 JMP estimate is that 783 million people (11%) use unimproved sources. Our estimates revise the 1990 baseline from 23% to 37%, and the target from 12% to 18%, resulting in a shortfall of 10% of the global population towards the MDG target in 2010. In contrast, using the indicator “use of an improved source” suggests that the MDG target for drinking-water has already been achieved. We estimate that an additional 1.2 billion (18%) use water from sources or systems with significant sanitary risks. While our estimate is imprecise, the magnitude of the estimate and the health and development implications suggest that greater attention is needed to better understand and manage drinking water safety.
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            Use of household water treatment and safe storage methods in acute emergency response: case study results from Nepal, Indonesia, Kenya, and Haiti.

            Household water treatment (HWTS) methods, such as boiling or chlorination, have long been recommended in emergencies. While there is increasing evidence of HWTS efficacy in the development context, effectiveness in the acute emergency context has not been rigorously assessed. We investigated HWTS effectiveness in response to four acute emergencies by surveying 1521 targeted households and testing stored water for free chlorine residual and fecal indicators. We defined "effective use" as the percentage of the targeted population with contaminated household water who used the HWTS method to improve stored drinking water microbiological quality to internationally accepted levels. Chlorine-based methods were distributed in all four emergencies and filters in one emergency. Effective use ranged widely, from 0-67.5%, with only one pre-existing chlorine program in Haiti and unpromoted boiling use in Indonesia reaching >20%. More successful programs provided an effective HWTS method, with the necessary supplies and training provided, to households with contaminated water who were familiar with the method before the emergency. HWTS can be effective at reducing the risk of unsafe drinking water in the acute emergency context. Additionally, by focusing on whether interventions actually improve drinking water quality in vulnerable households, "effective use" provides an important program evaluation metric.
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              Collaboration, cholera, and cyclones: a project to improve point-of-use water quality in Madagascar.

              In November 1999, CARE Madagascar, Population Services International (PSI), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) selected 30 poor communities in urban Antananarivo as the target population for launch of the Safe Water System. The system consists of behavior change techniques along with point-of-use treatment and safe storage of water. The project was launched in March 2000, ahead of schedule, because a cholera epidemic struck Madagascar in January. Because of the enormous demand created by the cholera epidemic and by 3 cyclones that followed in the next 3 months, the project grew to national scale in less than a year. The combination of community mobilization and social marketing resulted in increased demand for and use of the Safe Water System.

                Author and article information

                Am J Trop Med Hyg
                Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg
                The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
                The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
                09 October 2013
                09 October 2013
                : 89
                : 4
                : 647-653
                Emergency Response and Recovery Branch, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Direction Nationale de l'Eau Potable et de l'Assainissement, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
                Author notes
                *Address correspondence to Molly Patrick, Emergency Response and Recovery Branch, Division of Global Health Protection, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, MS-F57, Atlanta, GA 30341. E-mail: vej7@ 123456cdc.gov
                ©The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's Re-use License which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                AJTMH and PAHO: Commemorating the 3rd Anniversary of the Cholera Outbreak in Haiti: Invited Papers

                Infectious disease & Microbiology
                Infectious disease & Microbiology


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