Water-Borne Diseases: Causes, Prevention And Control

Project and Seminar Material for Public Health

Water-Borne Diseases: Causes, Prevention And Control


Abstract


More recently, water borne disease has been a prevailing issue for discussion due to its adverse health and environmental effects in major cities and more importantly the Niger Delta region as a whole. The study was therefore carried out to assess the cause, prevention and control of water borne disease in Obio Akpor LGA, Rivers state, Nigeria. Water borne diseases are viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases which use water as a common means of transmission. The causes of water borne disease are either natural or anthropogenic. While its effects could be health or environmental. In terms of remediation, there are now practical alternatives to the principal causes of water borne disease. For instance, Safe disposal of human and animal wastes. Construction of appropriate fly proof latrines. Sanitary utilization of latrines. Health education pertaining to behavioral change in improved personal hygiene such as washing hands with soap and water after defecation, and before handling of food, and safe disposal of feces.

This has led us to present a general overview of the causes, prevention and control of water borne disease with a little focus on Nigeria. Finally, when it comes to the Obio Akpor and the Niger Delta, there are numerous challenges facing water quality studies such as; lack of equipment, lack of infrastructure, inadequate expertise and weak policy framework.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The word pollution has been used in many contexts with different connotative meaning. However, pollution can be seen as the contaminating the environment. The problem of water borne disease has become a major concern to both global and local environmental policies formulator spurported to address its devastating trend, particularly in growing rural population of the world. The negative effects of the phenomenon are more pronounced in rural areas of developing countries than in developed ones. Efforts at stemming the tide of the increasing challenges of water borne disease worldwide have significantly been thwarted by inadequate funding, and awareness programs. This ugly trend has made it pertinent to review the policies regarding climate change and its negative impacts on the lives and properties of teeming inhabitants of Port Harcourt. A review of these policies will entail a wider coverage of research and analysis of the adverse effect of water borne disease. Water is essential for life. Safe drinking water and sanitation facilities are indispensable to sustain life and health, and fundamental to the dignity of all. Yet, 884 million people do not have access to improved sources of drinking water, while 2.5 billion lack access to improved sanitation facilities (UNICEF, 2006). While these numbers shed light on a worrying situation, the reality is much worse, as millions of poor people living in informal settlements are simply missing from national statistics. The roots of the current water and sanitation crisis can be traced to poverty, inequality and unequal power relationships, and it is exacerbated by social and environmental challenges: accelerating urbanization, climate change, and increasing pollution and depletion of water resources (UNDP, 2006).

Water is an essential resource for survival and to secure good health. But people around the globe face a problem of water scarcity. As of UNDP (2006), currently 700 million people in 43 countries live with water scarcity, of these many are in sub-Saharan Africa which represents one quarter of the global population that faces water scarcity live in developing countries. This scarcity of water forced people around the world to use unsafe water for drinking and other domestic uses (WHO, 2009).

Diarrheal diseases associated with unsafe water continue to be a major threat to child health in developing countries around the world. The latest estimates published by the World Health Organization indicate that diarrheal disease is responsible for approximately 800,000 deaths of children under the age of five per year, causing a higher number of under-age-5 deaths than malaria and HIV combined (WHO, 2007).

One of the key factors contributing to the frequency and burden of water borne disease is the pronounced lack of water and sanitation in a majority of developing countries (Zwane and Kremer, 2007). According to the United Nations report, more than half of the population in developing countries still lacks access to the most basic form of sanitation (United Nations 2007). Somewhat more progress has been made in the water sector, but 21% of the population in developing countries still does not have access to adequate drinking water (UNDP, 2007/2008). The situation is most severe for Sub-Saharan African countries, where 63% of the population lacks access to basic sanitation and 45% of the population lacks safe drinking water supply (UNDP, 2007/2008).


1.2 Statement of Problem

The problem of water borne disease control in an industrial environment in west Africa especially Nigeria, this is so because some policies which ought to be put in place to prohibit water borne disease are not properly implemented. The major problem of water borne disease arise from the used of heavy duty plant, machinery and vehicle which releases carbon monoxide into the atmosphere which contribute to the major source of water borne disease.
Water borne disease is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere (Tawari & Abowei, 2012). It can be defined as the presence in the outdoor or indoor atmosphere of one or more gaseous or particulate contaminants in quantities, characteristics and of duration such as to be injurious to human, plant or animal life or to property, or which unreasonably interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property (Odigure, 2018). Water borne disease is one of the problems associated with the growing population of various cities. This has increased tremendously with urbanization and associated industrial development and growth in mobility which have deteriorated water quality and intensified water borne disease in densely populated areas. The severity of the water borne disease problems in the cities reflects the level and speed of development (APMA, 2002; Molina et al., 2004; Grutter et al., 2014), and most of these pollutants are emitted from โ€œfugitiveโ€ sources such as evaporation of solvents or leaks at industrial facilities, incinerators and flare stacks can also be source of atmospheric emissions (Fort Water Partnership (FAP), 2014). The main objective of the study is to present a general overview of the causes, prevention and control of water borne disease in Obio Akpor LGA, Rivers state, Nigeria.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main aim of this study was to assess the cause, prevention and control of water borne disease in Obio Akpor LGA, Rivers state, Nigeria. The specific objectives are outlined as follows;

  1. To ascertain the effect of water borne disease in Obio Akpor LGA
  2. To examine the prospects of preventing water borne disease on environment
  3. To explore avenues of eradicating water borne disease in Obio Akpor LGA

1.4 Research Questions

In other to achieve the objective of the research, the following research questions were formulated:

  1. What is the effect of water borne disease in Obio Akpor LGA
  2. What are the prospects of preventing water borne disease on environment?
  3. What are the avenues of eradicating water borne disease in Obio Akpor LGA?

1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study upon completion will be useful to:

  1. The government in their policy formulation and implementation
  2. The federal ministry of environment in combating the menace of climatic change
  3. The federal road safety corp. to ascertain some vehicle which are no longer road worthy and the public at large

1.7 Definition of Terms

Water:

May be seen as the mixture of nitrogen, oxygen and minute amount of other gases that surround the earth and forms its atmosphere. Water may also be seen as the invisible gaseous substance surrounding the earth, a mixture mainly of oxygen and nitrogen.

Waterborne Diseases:

Are caused by pathogenic microorganisms that most commonly are transmitted in contaminated fresh water. Infection commonly results during bathing, washing, drinking, in the preparation of food, or the consumption of food thus infected. Various forms of waterborne diarrheal disease probably are the most prominent examples, and affect mainly children in developing countries.

Drinking Water Access:

Means that the source is less than 1 kilometer away from its place of use and that it is possible to reliably obtain at least 20 liters per member of a household per day. Access to safe drinking water is the proportion of people using improved drinking water sources: household connection; public standpipe; borehole; protected dug well; protected spring; rainwater. Drinking water is water used for domestic purposes, drinking, cooking and personal hygiene. According to Howard and Bertram (2003), there are four access levels; No access (>1km distance from source, >30 minutes collection time, <5 liters per capita per day), Basic access (100-1000m, 5-30 min, 5-20lpcd), Intermediate access (On-plot), Optimal access (multiple taps in house).

Diarrhea:

Is The condition of having at least three loose or liquid bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss. Loose but non watery stools in babies who are breastfed may be normal. The most common cause is an infection of the intestines due to a virus, bacteria, or parasite; a condition known as gastroenteritis. These infections are often acquired from food or water that has been contaminated by stool, or directly from another person who is infected. It may be divided into three types: short duration watery diarrhea, short duration bloody diarrhea, and if it lasts for more than two weeks, persistent diarrhea. The short duration watery diarrhea may be due to an infection by cholera. If blood is present it is also known as dysentery. Prevention of infectious diarrhea is by improved sanitation, clean drinking water, and hand washing with soap. Breastfeeding for at least six months is also recommended as is vaccination against rotavirus. Oral rehydration solution(ORS), which is clean water with modest amounts of salts and sugar, is the treatment of choice.


1.8 Organization of Study

The study comprises of 5 chapters. In chapter one, the concepts are introduced and the problem of the study is established with the research objectives and questions. Chapter two presents the literature review while chapter three presents the research methodology. The fourth chapter presents the results and discussion, and the last chapter presents the conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The study was carried out to assess the cause, prevention and control of water borne disease in Obio Akpor LGA, Rivers state, Nigeria. t. Poor people rely on subsistence income, of their income they prefer to spend on food and goods, than spending it on latrine construction. Of course it could be expensive to build a latrine for someone who doesnโ€™t secure his food. Even if people understand having latrine is beneficial, they may not be able and willing to spend high cost on it. Though economic status inhibits people to build their own latrines, on the other hand this shows that, people do not realize the costs they spend on treating diseases caused by unsanitary environment, which the costs for curing might be higher than preventing. Thus, if people are aware of the consequences of unhealthy environment, the costs to prevent its consequences like diarrheal diseases would be the easiest than treating the diseases. So investing on latrine is also a means of minimizing expenses of medication that comes after unhealthy living environment.

Finally, when it comes to the Obio Akpor and the Niger Delta, there are numerous challenges facing water quality studies. Like in most developing nations the issues are intertwined and the most prominent have been lack of equipment, lack of infrastructure, inadequate expertise and weak policy frame work. This and many other factors have been the bane to achieving the much-desired goals towards preserving the quality of the ecosystems and safeguarding the health of the public in the region and as a nation as well.


5.2 Conclusion

Water borne disease is a challenge in most developed societies of the world; contemporary societies of Africa and Nigeria in particular also grapple with and or/tackle this menace in recent times. Our analysis of the negative impact of environmental pollution in contemporary Nigeria society would focus specifically on; agricultural and Hunting activities of the agrarian people, industrial activities of the urban based, Noise pollution, Housing, conflict and warfare.

In Nigeria, accessibility to improved water supply remains a major concern. Despite its good level of per capita water availability, only few of the population have drinking water within the residence. Among other factors, the high rate of population growth tends to contribute to the increase of water needs and thus reduces the level of access to safe water.

Therefore, efficient water management policy is important if health and welfare of the population, particularly in rural areas, are to be improved. Efficient water management for rural areas requires a full understanding of existing pattern of water use as well as a forecast of future water consumption taking into consideration the different factors involved.

Moreover, accurate information about drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene related issues is invaluable to national leaders, decision-makers and stakeholders when making policy decisions. It is hopeful that the research would stimulate other studies particularly and that the results and findings would be found to be useful contribution to knowledge. This study has expanded the research frontier in by introducing new dimensions and concept in the area of water borne disease in Obo Akpor. The researcher is also hopeful that the findings in this study would be of great assistance to Governments at various levels in the formulation and implementation of policies and measures that will effectively promote enhanced accessibility through increased development of prospects for control and management. This study is therefore a great contribution to knowledge in this regard and it is hopeful that it would open more research in this direction.


5.3 Recommendation

Creating awareness to the teeming rural based population with low literacy levels is the best option to curbing problems of water borne disease. This will be achieved by mounting and organizing workshops, conferences, seminars etc. to educate the public on how to manage, and improve on the living conditions and the types of water consumed in an integrated and sustainable manner. Emphasis should be laid on why we need to eradicate water borne disease. Pointing out too that human existence is predicated and as well, supported by the environment. It is a two-way approach, as we fail to consume clean water, our bodies will fail us.

  • Through radio, television and other electronic media, the public should be informed on why it is important to drink clean water and keep the environment for water is stored clean.
  • Religions leaders and heads of institution in our churches, mosques and institutions of learning should admonish the faithful on the need to practice good hygiene both with food, water and living conditions.
  • A prompt legislative framework should be put in place to make laws that would tackle headlong issues of water borne disease in Nigeria.

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