213286 Very small drinking water supplies and public health

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:10 PM

Professor Paul R. Hunter, MB ChB MBA MD F , School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia/ IPWR Chair of Executive Board of Directors, Norwich, United Kingdom
For this presentation very small water supplies (VSWS) are defined as any supply providing drinking water to fewer than 50 people (100 people in the US). Even in developed countries like the UK and US there are literally 100s of thousands of such supplies. In developing countries these supplies are even more of an issue. Furthermore, many of the marginalised groups within society (rural poor, indigenous peoples) have no alternatives to VSWSs. The large majority of these supplies are managed by the consumer who may have little or no understanding of the principles of safe water management. This presentation will seek to answer four key questions about the public health implications of very VSWSs by reference to the authors own published and ongoing research as well as referral to key publications from the peer-reviewed literature.

1. What is the evidence that the quality of water from VSWSs is sufficiently poor as to pose a risk to human health.

2. What is the epidemiological evidence that VSWSs are associated with measurable threats to public health

3. Who are the key vulnerable groups at risk from VSWSs

4. What can be done to reduce the risk to humans and is it economically worthwhile doing this.

It will be concluded that VSWSs pose real and significant threats to public health and that the main risk is to young children, that much of the disease burden associated with VSWSs is preventable. and that preventing illness associated with VSWSs is economically beneficial.

Learning Objectives:
Define the importance of VSWSs as a driver of ill health, especially in marginalized rural populations and in the very young and that this threat to public health is preventable.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Academic medical practitioner with 5 books and 150+ peer-reviewed publications and with a history of regularly being invited to give presentations at national and international scientific conferences.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.