Good hygiene is critical to keeping infections to a minimum, and if not done properly and with care, will lead to hand-to-hand transmission of bacteria, oral disease transmission, cholera, and other very serious diseases that are preventable. Health education is needed in remote areas like the villages of Uganda to minimize the spread of these diseases.
If you are an educator or health care professional and want to make a different in an under developed country please come with us and see first hand how your contribution matters.
If you are a healthcare provider and would like to learn more about this study go to email@example.com and ask for the study called “Maximizing the Benefits from Water and Environmental Sanitation.”
Contaminants Resulting from Biological Matter in Water – Human and Animal Feces
Though there are multiple ways that pathogens and harmful microorganisms enter the water supply, the principal means of entry is through water contamination by human sewage and/or animal feces (Lingireddy, 2002). These types of contamination largely affect surface water areas like rivers, lakes, and streams from which drinking water is taken.
Though most of the diseases caused by drinking water containing fecal material are gastrointestinal, such water can cause more serious and life threatening diseases like hepatitis (A, B, and C) and Legionnaire’s disease. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, characterized by jaundice, fever, and abdominal pain. Acute cases of hepatitis, especially hepatitis C can be fatal. Legionnaire’s disease is an infectious, sometimes fatal, disease that is characterized by high fever, incessant cough, lung congestion, and subsequent pneumonia. The disease can permanently damage such vital, internal organs as the heart and lungs. Ingestion of drinking water contaminated by human or animal feces can also result in higher rates of spontaneous abortion in pregnant women. The effects of pathogen-contaminated drinking water are especially detrimental to cancer patients, as well.
Human and animal feces enter water systems primarily through breakdowns in sewage and improper treatment of surface water sources. Human and animal fecal matter affects surface water almost exclusively, but as surface water bleeds into groundwater through stream and riverbeds, the groundwater can become contaminated, as well.
What to do
Take very special care to use latrines, clean your hands and do a good job of covering fecal matter. If you do these things, you will stop the infections and illnesses before they start and need fewer drugs.
If you would like to learn more about hand cleaning techniques CLICK HERE for more information from The Mayo Clinic, one of the most respected hospitals in the entire world.