This blog post highlights some of the key features and finding of a recently published paper from Journal of Water & Health.


Analysing the interlinkage between diarrhoea and drinking water faecal contamination in India

Gaurav Kapse, Satish Agnihotri, Pankaj Sekhsaria, Murali Sastry


Conventional wisdom tells us that bacterial water contamination is the most common cause of spreading diarrhoea worldwide. In India alone, over 10 million cases of diarrhoea are reported every year with thousands of associated deaths. Despite better monitoring of water quality, India still faces many difficulties in the management and control of waterborne diseases. The first step in managing waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea is to have an efficient monitoring mechanism. Through this article, we critically evaluate contemporary monitoring datasets for water and diarrhoea in India to revisit the correlation between the two. 

In this paper, we present details of statistical and geospatial analysis of diarrhoea and water faecal contamination data at the district level. The analysis showed no significant linkages which should have been there in ideal conditions. The study also found significant gaps in the current water monitoring mechanisms with the non-reporting of bacteriological water analysis data from 400 districts in India for the year 2017-19. This reveals a clear gap in the interlinkage between diarrhoea and bacteriological water quality with the unavailability of granular water quality data appearing as a major challenge. The study suggests an urgent need to strengthen India’s bacteriological water quality monitoring mechanism which will facilitate better monitoring, prediction and planning for the control of diarrhoea disease.  

Read the full paper here.  

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