Water usage, hygiene and diarrhea in low-income urban communities - a mixed method prospective longitudinal study

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Epidemiological studies considered water use and hygiene practices as central risk factors for diarrhea. Few studies focused on independent association of water quantity with diarrheal diseases. This study aimed to describe the methodological protocol that adapted multidisciplinary and mixed-method research approach to assess how water usage including water quantity influences the attributable risk for diarrhea in a low-income urban community in Bangladesh. The quantitative, anthropological and microbiological approaches were threaded together to provide a greater understanding of the infrastructural, behavioral and microbial interactions to fathom the dimensions of fecal oral transmission pathways within the households. The use of the 'Choleraphone' (i.e. a mobile phone based real time diarrheal reporting system) was a contemporary approach intended to cut down on resources, reduce research fatigue and provide more accurate data compared to the 'gold standard' (i.e. visiting a household of diarrhea cases within 48 hours) for measuring diarrhea incidence. Development of methods to measure water quantity using qualitative and quantitative approach within a setting where meter water connection is rare was another unique feature of this protocol. This protocol provided guidance and insight on how multiple methods of different disciplines can be combined to enrich understanding of waterborne diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2822-2837
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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