Volume 97, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Water-related diseases are closely linked with drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) indicators, socioeconomic status, education level, or dwelling’s conditions. Developing countries exhibit a particular vulnerability to these diseases, especially rural areas and urban slums. This study assessed socioeconomic features, WASH indicators, and water-related diseases in two rural areas of the Colombian Caribbean coast. Most of this population did not finish basic education (72.3%, = 159). Only one of the communities had a water supply (aqueduct), whereas the other received water via an adapted tanker ship. No respondents reported sewage services; 92.7% ( = 204) had garbage service. Reported cases of diarrhea were associated with low education levels ( = 2.37 × 10) and an unimproved drinking water supply ( = 0.035). At least one fever episode was reported in 20% ( = 44) of dwellings, but the cases were not related to any indicator. The House index (percentage of houses that tested positive for larvae and/or pupae) was 69%, the container index (percentage of water-holding containers positive for larvae or pupae) 29.4%, and the Breteau index (number of positive containers per 100 houses in a specific location) was three positive containers per 100 inspected houses. The presence of positive containers was associated with the absence of a drinking water supply ( = 0.04). The community with poorer health indicators showed greater health vulnerability conditions for acquisition of water-related diseases. In summary, water supply and educational level were the main factors associated with the presence of water-related diseases in both communities.


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  • Received : 18 Apr 2016
  • Accepted : 09 Aug 2017

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