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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2013 Apr;88(4):651-60. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.12-0065. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

Impact of water-vending kiosks and hygiene education on household drinking water quality in rural Ghana.

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Departments of Environmental Health Sciences and Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Innovative solutions are essential to improving global access to potable water for nearly 1 billion people. This study presents an independent investigation of one alternative by examining for-profit water-vending kiosks, WaterHealth Centers (WHCs), in rural Ghana to determine their association with household drinking water quality. WHCs' design includes surface water treatment using filtration and ultraviolet light disinfection along with community-based hygiene education. Analyses of water samples for Escherichia coli and household surveys from 49 households across five villages collected one time per year for 3 years indicate that households using WHCs had improved water quality compared with households using untreated surface water (adjusted incidence rate ratio = 0.07, 95% confidence interval = 0.02, 0.21). However, only 38% of households used WHCs by the third year, and 60% of those households had E. coli in their water. Recontamination during water transport and storage is an obstacle to maintaining WHC-vended water quality.

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