A profile of diarrhoea in an urban slum area

Mandal, A. K. ; Tiwari, I. C. ; Sanyal, S. C. (1990) A profile of diarrhoea in an urban slum area Indian Journal of Public Health, 34 (1). pp. 66-67. ISSN 0019-557X

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Researchers followed 90 households (445 people) in Sunderpur slum in Varanasi in Upper Pradesh, India for 1 year and collected stool samples when people were ill with diarrhea to determine diarrhea incidence and causes of diarrheal disease. The water supply consisted of a well, public tap, or house tap with 30 households in each group. They noted 106 diarrheal episodes for an incidence of around 23%. Incidence decreased significantly with age (p.001). For example, it was 62.9% for children 5 years old, 34% in the school age population, and 8.7% in people =or 15 years old. Improved resistance to infection and/or improved personal hygiene could have accounted for this difference. Diarrheal incidence was considerably lower in the autumn (9.3%) and winter months (11.1%) than the spring (49.1%) and summer months [rainy season] (30.5%) (p.001). Researchers found at least 1 parasite in the stool sample of 81.5% of cases. The leading causative agents included Ascaris lumbricoides (42.1%), Entamoeba histolytica (35.2%), hookworm (7.9%), and Escherichia coli (5.7%). Diarrhea incidence was much higher in persons whose water supply was a well (35.8%) compared to 23.2% for those with a public tap, and 12.8% for those with a private tap. These results concerning the water supply corroborated those of the Planning Research and Action Institute's (Upper Pradesh) pilot piped water supply program in the areas of Banki, Parendra, and Mokhampur in which incidence was highest in Banki where the water supply was an open well. The next highest and the lowest incidences were among those whose water supply consisted of public taps and private taps respectively.

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