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Local Drinking Water Filters Reduce Diarrheal Disease in Cambodia: A Randomized, Controlled Trial of the Ceramic Water Purifier

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  • 1 University of North Carolina School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Tuscaloosa, Alabama; School of Public Health, University of Nevada-Reno, Reno, Nevada

A randomized, controlled intervention trial of two household-scale drinking water filters was conducted in a rural village in Cambodia. After collecting four weeks of baseline data on household water quality, diarrheal disease, and other data related to water use and handling practices, households were randomly assigned to one of three groups of 60 households: those receiving a ceramic water purifier (CWP), those receiving a second filter employing an iron-rich ceramic (CWP-Fe), and a control group receiving no intervention. Households were followed for 18 weeks post-baseline with biweekly follow-up. Households using either filter reported significantly less diarrheal disease during the study compared with a control group of households without filters as indicated by longitudinal prevalence ratios CWP: 0.51 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.41–0.63); CWP-Fe: 0.58 (95% CI: 0.47–0.71), an effect that was observed in all age groups and both sexes after controlling for clustering within households and within individuals over time.

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