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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-40

Strengthening the Quality of Household Water Treatment Products on a Global Scale: World Health Organization


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication4-May-2016

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Thiruporur-Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2423-7752.181806

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strengthening the Quality of Household Water Treatment Products on a Global Scale: World Health Organization. J Earth Environ Health Sci 2016;2:39-40

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strengthening the Quality of Household Water Treatment Products on a Global Scale: World Health Organization. J Earth Environ Health Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Nov 29];2:39-40. Available from: https://www.ijeehs.org/text.asp?2016/2/1/39/181806

Dear Editor,

Worldwide, accessibility and availability of safe and wholesome water is a crucial determinant for the public health and plays a defining role in the nation's economic growth and reduction of poverty reduction. [1] In fact, the global estimates suggest that in excess of 90% of the world's population had access to an improved drinking water source, compared with 1990's estimates. [1] Further, almost 4.2 billion and 2.4 billion people across the world now get water through a piped connection and through other improved sources, respectively. [1],[2]

Access to sufficient, continuous, and safe water for personal and domestic use has been not only recognized as a human right, but also even acknowledged as a part of the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals. [1] Still in the current global scenario, at least 1.9 billion people are still consuming water which is contaminated with human or animal excreta. [3] Further, a wide range of variations has been observed in the quality of water, not only between rural and urban areas, but also even within urban areas, especially people living in slums or illegal settings. [2],[4]

As a result of that, millions of families are dependent on household water treatment (HWT) technologies to ensure that water is safe for drinking and waterborne diseases can be prevented. [3],[5] In response to the rising demands, a wide range of HWT products (viz., chlorination, filtration systems, solar disinfection, etc.) have been made available in the market. [3] Though almost all manufacturers claim that their products can make the water safe for drinking, often the existing laboratories are devoid of the capacity to confirm these claims, especially in low-income nations. [4],[5]

Over the last decade or so, the utility and health benefits of HWT products have been acknowledged, and it has been estimated that with correct and consistent use of them supported with safe water storage, the incidence of diarrheal disease can be minimized by almost 45%, and lives of thousands of children can be saved each year globally. [3],[4],[5] As these HWT products reach across millions of users from close to 60 nations, there is a definitive need to conduct an independent and meticulous assessment of them. [3]

In fact, an international evaluation scheme has been initiated to independently and consistently assess the performance of HWT products against the standard proposed by the World Health Organization. [3] The scheme aims to evaluate a HWT product for its cost, feasibility in low-income settings, free standing, and ability to treat enough water to meet the requirements of a limited number of persons each day. [3],[5] Once the product addresses these requirements, they are subsequently evaluated for their extent of removal of microorganisms, and based on the result, products are rated. [3] Thus, users can have a clear opinion of the quality of the HWT product which they are using. [4],[5] In addition, to improve the water quality, assistance has been provided to nations by approving newer HWT products and training the specified personnel. [1],[3]

To conclude, considering the obstacles involved in ensuring sustainable improvements in water supply infrastructure, especially in low-resource settings, the accessibility and availability of a quality-assured HWT product is a key strategy to enhance access to safe water.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Drinking-Water - Fact Sheet No. 391; 2015. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs391/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 Feb 04].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. 4 th ed. Geneva: WHO Press; 2011. p. 1-13.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. Putting Household Water Treatment Products to the Test; 2016. Available from: http://www.who.int/features/2016/household-water-treatment-test/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 Feb 05].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Poulos C, Yang JC, Patil SR, Pattanayak S, Wood S, Goodyear L, et al. Consumer preferences for household water treatment products in Andhra Pradesh, India. Soc Sci Med 2012;75:738-46.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Murray A, Pierre-Louis J, Joseph F, Sylvain G, Patrick M, Lantagne D. Need for certification of household water treatment products: Examples from Haiti. Trop Med Int Health 2015;20:462-70.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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