Category Archives: Sanitation and Health

Endemicity of Zoonotic Diseases in Pigs and Humans in Lowland and Upland Lao PDR: Identification of Socio-cultural Risk Factors

Endemicity of Zoonotic Diseases in Pigs and Humans in Lowland and Upland Lao PDR: Identification of Socio-cultural Risk Factors. PLoS Neg Trop Dis, April 2016. Authors: Hannah R. Holt , Phouth Inthavong, et al.

In Lao PDR, pigs are an important source of food and income and are kept by many rural residents. This study investigated five diseases that are transmitted between pigs and humans (zoonoses), namely hepatitis E, Japanese encephalitis, trichinellosis, cysticercosis and taeniasis. Humans and pigs in Lao PDR were tested for antibodies against the agents (pathogens) responsible for these diseases. Human participants were classified into three groups or “clusters” based on hygiene and sanitation practices, pig contact and pork consumption.

Cluster 1 had low pig contact and good hygiene practice. Cluster 2 had moderate hygiene practices: around half used toilets and protected water sources; most people washed their hands after using the toilet and boiled water prior to consumption. Most people in this cluster were involved in pig slaughtering, drank pigs’ blood and were more likely test positive for antibodies against hepatitis E and Japanese encephalitis viruses. Finally, people in cluster 3 had lowest access to sanitation facilities, were most likely to have pigs in the household and had the highest risk of hepatitis E, taeniasis and cysticercosis.

The diseases in this study pose a significant threat to public health and impact pig production. This study identified characteristics of high-risk individuals and areas with high disease burden and could be used to target future disease control activities to those most vulnerable.

 

SuSanA discussion – The conceptual framework of under-nutrition

SuSanA discussion – The conceptual framework of under-nutrition. There are several interesting posts in this discussion forum about under-nutrition.

The first post discusses “What are the main causes of under-nutrition?” conceptualframework.png

The determinants of under-nutrition are complex and nutritional status is dependent on a wide range of diverse and interconnected factors. At the most immediate level, under-nutrition is the outcome of inadequate dietary intake and repeated infectious diseases.

The underlying causes include food insecurity, inappropriate care practices, poor health sector performance and unsafe environment including access to water, sanitation and hygiene. All these factors result in increased vulnerability to shocks and long term stresses.

The basic determinants of under-nutrition are rooted in poverty and involve interactions between social, political, demographic, and societal conditions. (below: Conceptual framework of undernutrition; ACF (2012) “The Essential: Nutrition and Health” adapted from UNICEF 1990))

 

Ruminants contribute fecal contamination to the urban household environment in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Ruminants contribute fecal contamination to the urban household environment in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Env Sci Tech, April 2016. Authors: Angela Harris, Amy Janel Pickering, et al.

In Dhaka, Bangladesh, the sensitivity and specificity of three human, three ruminant, and one avian source-associated QPCR microbial source tracking assays were evaluated using fecal samples collected on site. Ruminant-associated assays performed well, while the avian and human assays exhibited unacceptable cross-reactions with feces from other hosts.

Subsequently, child hand rinses (n=44) and floor sponge samples (n=44) from low income-households in Dhaka were assayed for fecal indicator bacteria (enterococci, Bacteroidales, and Escherichia coli) and a ruminant-associated bacterial target (BacR). Mean enterococci concentrations were of 100 most probable number (MPN)/2 hands and 1000 MPN/225 cm2 floor. Mean concentrations of Bacteroidales were 106 copies/2 hands and 105 copies/225 cm2 floor. E. coli were detected in a quarter of hand rinse and floor samples. BacR was detected in 18% of hand rinse and 27% of floor samples.

Results suggest that effective household fecal management should account not only for human sources of contamination but also for animal sources. The poor performance of the human-associated assays in the study area calls into the question the feasibility of developing a human-associated marker in urban slum environments, where domestic animals are exposed to human feces that have been disposed in pits and open drains.

 

PPPHW – The State of Handwashing in 2015

The State of Handwashing in 2015. Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing.

In this summary, we outline key themes and findings from 44 peer-reviewed handwashing-related research papers published globally in 2015 and specifically relevant in low and middle-income countries. handwashing

These findings can be categorized by five key themes:

  • Benefits of handwashing with soap
  • Measuring handwashing behavior
  • Approaches to handwashing behavior change
  • Handwashing station sustainability
  • Handwashing in the emergency setting

Sanitation Technology Experts gather in Leeds to Address Water-related Diseases

Sanitation Technology Experts gather in Leeds to Address Water-related Diseases | Source: Big News Network, April 6 2016|

UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and Michigan State University (MSU) brought together more than twenty sanitation technology experts on 21 March 2016 at the School of Civil Engineering of the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, to address the risk factors constituted by water pathogens. unesco

Two events took place as part of the Global Water Pathogen Project (GWPP): a meeting of experts and a user requirement workshop. GWPP prepares a substantially updated successor to the current benchmark reference book on water-related disease risks and intervention measures, ‘Sanitation and Disease Health Aspects of Excreta and Wastewater Management‘ by Richard G. Feachem, David J. Bradley, Hemda Garelick and D. Duncan Mara (1983), and develops an innovative online platform serving as a knowledge resource for sustainable access to safe water and sanitation. Implemented by UNESCO in partnership with MSU, GWPP consists of a network of 113 authors and editors from 41 countries, close to half of them women.

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The Sanitary Movement – A John Snow Epilogue

Published on Dec 5, 2015

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John Snow’s report on the causes of cholera provided yet more evidence of the dangers of filthy cities. Cities had always been unhealthy places to live, generally with a higher death rate than birth rate, but fixing them just wasn’t the focus of an agricultural world economy. The Industrial Revolution in the 1700s brought more people to the cities, and suddenly, cities had to grow in order to maintain the vastly expanded manufacturing and shipping operations of the new era.

Edwin Chadwick published a report about the sewage in city streets and clearly explaining the need to remove it. His report led to legislation that created local health boards and drove the construction of complex sewer systems. These sewers were massive, expensive undertakings that, even today, remain the foundation of many large modern cities. They reduced diseases across the board and saved countless human lives, part of a legacy that John Snow would be proud of.
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Nutritionists report low-cost way to reduce global infant mortality

Nutritionists report low-cost way to reduce global infant mortality | Source: Medical Express, March 28 2016 |

Eating a biscuit fortified with resistant starch every day could prove a low-cost way to reduce infant mortality rates from malnutrition and common diseases around the world.

The answer could lie in maximising the efficiency of babies’ and children’s digestive systems with this special type of dietary fibre, say Flinders University researchers.

nutritionist

Flinders Master of Nutrition and Dietetics, 1998 graduate Elissa Mortimer, the project manager of the FCIC Global Gastrointestinal Health Unit research in Africa.

The global gastrointestinal health project is investigating how bacteria in the large intestine affect the utilisation of food, and whether improving gut health might help babies and children to flourish on an impoverished diet and survive common diseases.

The chief investigator, leading Australian gastrointestinal expert Professor Graeme Young, says the latest project is focusing on whether young children have the gut bacteria required to produce small chain fatty acids from resistant starch.

“Its conversion in the gut, however, is determined by many factors and is very different from children in Australia because of the environment, type of birth and the microflora of the mother.”

Under a Flinders School of Medicine partnership with the University of Malawi, researchers are testing small stool samples taken from the nappies of very young infants in a remote village near the country’s Mozambique border.

Read the complete article.