Bacteriological quality of human drinking water in high-margination zones in Chiapas

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Journal: Salud Publica Mex 2000/12/28
Published: 2000
Authors: Sanchez-Perez, H. J.;Vargas-Morales, M. G.;Mendez-Sanchez, J. D.
Address: Colegio de la Frontera Sur, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. hsanchez@sclc.ecosur.mx

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the bacteriological quality of drinking water (BQDW) and its association with diarrhoea and intestinal parasites in children 1 to 14 years old, in areas of high levels of poverty in Chiapas, Mexico. MATERIAL AND METHODS: From March to September 1998, drinking water was collected from a random sample of 99 households in the Border Region of Chiapas, Mexico; data on diarrhoeal disease (in the past 15 days) were collected and stool testing for intestinal parasites was performed in children 1 to 14 years old (n = 322). The BQDW was determined by the filtration membrane technique. Intestinal parasitic infections were determined by the Faust Method. The chi 2 statistic was used to analyse factors associated with BQDW. RESULTS: Only 31% of the water samples were adequate for human consumption. The BQDW and the presence of diarrhoea (informed by the mothers of the children) showed no association. Children living in households with inadequate BQDW had a higher prevalence of Entamoeba histolytica and a greater tendency to have intestinal parasites. CONCLUSIONS: It is necessary to develop programs that improve BQDW and to develop education efforts aimed at increasing the use of boiled water and the adequate management and care of community water storage sites.

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