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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2007 Feb;76(2):351-3.

Diarrhea prevention in a Kenyan school through the use of a simple safe water and hygiene intervention.

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  • 1CARE Kenya, Homa Bay, Kenya.


To prevent diarrhea in rural Western Kenya, we implemented the Safe Water System (water treatment with bleach, safe storage, and behavior-change communications) in 2000. We implemented a pilot project in a school in May 2003. Teachers taught students about safe water and hygiene. Safe water storage vessels were placed between classrooms. Two large water tanks for handwashing were positioned by the kitchen and latrines. The vessels were filled daily with water, which was treated with bleach and monitored for free chlorine residuals. Daily student care logs at the local clinic were reviewed. Clinic visits for diarrhea peaked during the January through March period in 2002 at 130 and in 2003 at 71, but in 2004, after project implementation, only 13 diarrhea episodes were recorded. The project saved the school about 5.49 dollars per student per year. The project has been expanded to 70 schools, and an evaluation is planned.

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