Raimann, J.G.; Marfo Boaheng, J.; Narh, P.; Johnson, S.; Donald, L.; Zhang, H.; Port, F.; Levin, N.W. Decentralized Water Purification Using Novel Membrane Filtration Technology Approach to Improve Community Health. Preprints2019, 2019090175. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints201909.0175.v1
Raimann, J.G., Marfo Boaheng, J., Narh, P., Johnson, S., Donald, L., Zhang, H., Port, F., & Levin, N.W. (2019). Decentralized Water Purification Using Novel Membrane Filtration Technology Approach to Improve Community Health. Preprints. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints201909.0175.v1
Raimann, J.G., Friedrich Port and Nathan W. Levin. 2019 "Decentralized Water Purification Using Novel Membrane Filtration Technology Approach to Improve Community Health" Preprints. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints201909.0175.v1
Introduction: In rural communities in regions with limited resources the provision of clean water remains challenging. Fecal contamination of water is very common and results in a high incidence of diarrhea, subsequent acute kidney injury and mortality particularly in the very young and old. Membrane filtration is a practical solution to this problem and recent innovation allows membrane filtration using recycled hemodialyzers. We, Easy Water for Everyone, have quantified the systematic effect on health outcomes. Material and Methods: Between 02/2018 and 12/2018, 4 communities in rural Ghana (in the Greater-Accra region) were each provided with a high-volume membrane filtration devices (NUF 500; NuFiltration using recycled hemodialyzers). Health data from montly household surveys and chart review in local healthcare facilities were collected with approval from Ghana Health Services. Specifically, data was collected on gastrointestinal disease, acute kidney injury and therapeutic interventions. Incidence rates for a five-months period before and after implementation of the device were calculated and compared to rates during the same months from 4 neighboring communities that were not yet provided with the device. Results: Acceptance of the devices and the purified water in the studied villages was good and self-reported data of 1130 villagers over 10 months from 9 studied communities in rural Ghana (11% younger than 5 years and 14 % older than 65 years) were included in this analysis. The overall monthly incidence rate of diarrhea showed a decline following the implementation of the device in the 4 study villages from a mean of 0.18 to 0.05 cases per person-month for a reduction in rates by 72% (rate ratio = 0.27). By contrast, the control group of 4 villages in the same region showed no decline in mean rates during the same months as the study period with mean rates changing not significantly from 0.11 to 0.08 cases per person-month. Discussion: Provision of a hemodialyzer membrane filtration device markedly improves health outcomes as measured by diarrhea incidence within rural communities. While our data awaits confirmation in a larger population and further statistical analyses accounting for village characteristics, seasonality and subject demographics, the obvious decline in incidence rates supports widespread use of hemodialyzer membrane filtration devices, particularly in rural regions. Rollout of the device in further sites will likely increase our understanding in terms of risk and other preventive factors modifying the incidence of diarrhea and subsequent acute kidney injury.
water purification; developing countries; SDG-6; microbiological contamination; public health; membrane filtration
Biology and Life Sciences, Food Science and Technology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.