Waterborne Diseases And Their Effect On Human Health

Water efforts to improve access to drinking water across India have been unfortunately matched by the proportionate declines in deaths and Illnesses from different waterborne diseases, which are remaining grossly underestimated as reported by the latest health ministry under the government of India.

The potable water infrastructure has covered nearly 85% of India’s population across this vast country. The planning commission of India has authenticated this. The planning commission of India is a top policy-making body under the government of India.

Children aged under five years and whose numbers are between four lakh to five lakh die every year from diarrhea, a dangerous waterborne disease, the report said, failure to improve personal and home hygiene as a prime factor.

The report also cautioned the failure in epidemiological surveillance is leading public health authorities to record only a small fraction of cases of waterborne diseases.

The reported cases of hepatitis in 100000 people is 12 cases as per the incidence.  The two studies of the urban communities have given the data to be 100 cases per 100000 checked people. The report also suggests that only a small fraction of diarrhoeal diseases are picked up through such surveillance.

A World Health Organisation sponsored report says that improvements in hygienic conditions are not likely unless the dramatical improvement in sanitation coverage. Without a proper supply of water, children cannot often wash and thus contact eye infections and skin problems such as scabies.

It was also reported that poor water quality and the lack of total disposal of human, animal, and household wastes are the main factors for waterborne diseases. It was also reported that only 30% of the total wastewater in India is treated by effluent plants before being disposed of. And the untreated balance water flows into the open drains, rivers, lakes and underground water resources.

One of the reports also states that the actual quality of water supply varies widely from place to place. In cities and rural areas, there is a great lacking in the Quality Assurance of the water. The water that is passed off as pure drinking water leaves much to be desired. These facts are stated by Dr. Chandrakant Pandav, a leading specialist in the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences.

 

Now to further take the discussion, to let us discuss in detail the various waterborne diseases in India as given below.

  1. Cholera

Cholera is a water-related disease; oan is diarrhoeal in nature.

If unattended, it can kill in hours.

Cholera strikes when one drinks water that is infected with Vibrio Cholerae Bacterium.

  1. Diarrhea

The diarrhoeal infection spreads through food and drinking water, which has been contaminated.

A diarrhoeal attack can last up to 15 days and leave the patient completely dehydrated.

  1. Malaria

The disease malaria is spread by a  parasite called Plasmodium parasite mosquito (also known as the female anopheles mosquito) that breeds in water bodies like ponds, potholes, drains or any place where water is stagnant.

Malaria can kill any child that is not vaccinated against the disease and can have grieve effects on a fully grown adult person.

  1. Typhoid

The symptoms of typhoid are fluctuating high fever, sleepiness, exhaustion, diarrhea, etc.

It spreads through contaminated food and water or close contact with an infected person.

  1. Filariasis

Filariasis is a parasitic disease and attacks people who dwell near unsanitary water bodies or open sewage systems.

Filariasis is spread by mosquitoes that breed in fresh and stagnant water bodies and is the host of the filarial nematode worm. This worm affects human beings and leads to elephantiasis.

  1. Gastroenteritis

Commonly also known as food poisoning.

It occurs with the consumption of contaminated water or food.

This results in fatal life taking situations and leaves the patient completely dehydrated.

 

The Central Bureau of Health Intelligence has proven that the incidences of diarrhea centric fever, viral hepatitis, and cholera has escalated from the same level as it was in the past decade. All the waterborne diseases have taken an upper route in the past decade.

The contamination of freshwater by fluoride also has effected the large population in the rural areas of India, as stated by the report. The report further noted that more than 25 million people across 17 states have to consume water with high concentration levels of fluoride which are much more higher than the permissible levels allowed by the health ministry of India. It was also stated that the excess of fluoride could also cause a condition which is known as the skeletal fluorosis.

The water supply in India is available from the Water Resources Division, Government of India, Planning Commission, Yojna Bhavan, ParliamentStreet, New Delhi.

Concluding, let us discuss the prevention of getting infected by the waterborne diseases in our daily life. First and foremost, we should take care that there is no open collection of water in and around our house or place of work or our schools, colleges, etc.  Any such water collection should be immediately removed, or if the water body is large, then a good amount of some mobile oil should be spread over the surface of the water. Go to your terrace or roof and get rid of broken flower pots, old tires, old vessels like buckets, mugs, etc. or any such thing which can collect water. Dry and clean your water room coolers every week and put a few drops of oil while refilling. Get all children and infants vaccinated against all such diseases. Do not waste time at the slightest symptom of a disease and rush the patient to the nearest hospital or doctor or any health care unit at the earliest. A stitch in time saves nine. Use mosquito repellent creams or use mosquito nets while sleeping.

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