Piloting a shared source water treatment intervention among elementary schools in Bangladesh

Farzana Yeasmin, Farhana Sultana, Leanne Unicomb, Fosiul Alam Nizame, Mahbubur Rahman, Humayun Kabir, Peter J. Winch, Stephen P. Luby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hundreds of thousands of children continue to die each year from diarrhea. We piloted a low-cost liquid chlorine point-of-use (POU) water treatment among elementary school children in Bangladesh. We began the 1-month intervention in four schools (two urban and two rural) by introducing POU drinking water hardware and behavior change communication. We trained teachers to deliver sessions encouraging students to drink chlorinated water from their own small plastic bottles to avoid disease transmission. We used cue cards and flip charts as visual aids. We evaluated the acceptability, feasibility, and potential for sustainability after 1 month and after 14 months of the intervention. During 1-month follow-up, among 141 drinking events observed, 141 students (100%) drank chlorinated water. In 93 or 66% of events, students used their own bottles, and in 43 (30%) of the events, they used common cups or hands washed before drinking. During the 14-month follow-up, we observed 732 drinking events. In 653 of 732 events (89%), students drank chlorinated water; in 78 events (11%), they consumed water from untreated drinking water sources. Among those who consumed chlorinated water, 20% (131/653) used their own bottles to drink water, 72% (467/653) used common cups, and 8% (55/653) used both hands to drink water. Most stated that they drank chlorinated water because it is safe, it has health benefits, and treatment reduces germs. Introduction of specific hardware, weekly hygiene sessions, and education materials enabled schools to treat water at POU and students to consume treated water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)984-993
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume101
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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