Water Quality Interventions to Prevent Diarrhoea: Cost and Cost-Effectiveness
Diarrhoeal disease kills an estimated 1.8 million people each year, and accounts for 17% of deaths of children under 5 years of age in developing countries. Ninety-four percent of this disease burden is attributable to the environment, including risks associated with unsafe water, lack of sanitation and poor hygiene. While piped-in water supplies are an important long-term goal, the WHO and UNICEF acknowledge that it is unlikely to meet the MDG target of halving the proportion of the people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015. As a result, they and others are seeking alternative interventions that can deliver the health gains of safe drinking water at lower cost. Among the candidates are conventional source- and a variety of household-based water treatment interventions.