265937 Cross-sectional Epidemiologic Study of Well-Water Quality and Prevalence of Gastroenteritis in a Developing Country

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Josiah Alamu , Public Health Department, University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, IL
Poor water quality and lack of standard personal hygiene may be related to the prevalence of diarrhea and gastroenteritis. On-site rapid tests capable of detecting the water quality indicators may be helpful in correlating the presence of total coliform bacteria and the occurrence of water-related diseases; consequently helping to design effective public health interventions.

A cross-sectional epidemiologic study design was conducted to assess the quality of well-water and the prevalence of gastroenteritis among the residents of rural Farato, The Gambia (7,000 residents). An on-site rapid test for coliform bacteria and E. coli was done with the IDEXX Colilert® pre-dispensed 10 mL MPN tubes. Residents of households using the tested wells were surveyed for information on the prevalence of gastroenteritis. One hundred and eleven (83.46%) of the 133 sampled well-water were positive for coliform bacteria and E. coli. Seventy-three (54%) of 134 people surveyed reported two or more symptoms indicative of gastroenteritis (presumptive gastroenteritis). Sixty-two (84.9%) of these seventy-three people had coliform bacteria and E. coli in their well-water. The correlations of the presence of coliform bacteria and E. coli, well characteristics (lined, not-lined, etc.) and the prevalence of presumptive gastroenteritis will be discussed.

The presence of coliform bacteria and E. coli in a drinking well-water may be used to identify potential gastroenteritis outbreaks in rural areas. In addition, this simple process can potentially identify risk factors for water-related diseases from source and point-of-use; thus, helping public health officials to design an effective intervention to improve water quality in developing countries.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health biology
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. To assess well-water in a rural area for the presence of total coliform bacteria 2. To estimate the prevalence of gastroenteritis among residents of a rural area 3. To evaluate an association between the presence of total coliform bacteria and prevalence of gastroenterities

Keywords: International Public Health, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Josiah Alamu, Ph.D., M.P.H., works at the University of Illinois Springfield Public Health Department. He received his MPH from the University of Hawaii Honolulu and his PhD from the University of Iowa. Dr. Alamu teaches several courses at both graduate and undergraduate level, including: Foundations of Epidemiology, Biostatistics for the Health Professional, Analytical Epidemiology, Chronic/Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Global Environmental Health, and undergraduate ECCE course in Epidemiology
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.