Preventing diarrheal disease in developing countries : the CDC/PSI Safe Water System Program in Zambia
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Preventing diarrheal disease in developing countries : the CDC/PSI Safe Water System Program in Zambia

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      An estimated 1.1 billion persons lack access to an improved water source. Hundreds of millions more drink contaminated water from improved sources because of unsafe water treatment and distribution systems and unsafe water storage and handling practices. The health consequences of inadequate water and sanitation services include an estimated 4 billion cases of diarrhea and 2.2 million deaths each year, mostly among young children in developing countries. The Safe Water System (SWS) is a water quality intervention proven to reduce diarrheal disease incidence in users by 22-84%. The SWS includes water treatment with chlorine solution at the point-of-use, storage of water in a safe container, and behavior change communication.

      The CDC/PSI joint program in Zambia began in 1998 with the social marketing of 0.5% sodium hypochlorite solution branded as Clorin. Monthly sales have steadily climbed over the past seven years to 100,000-250,000 bottles sold, and families protected, per month. PSI/Zambia staff train health center staff, pharmacists, and community health workers to promote Clorin. Mobile media units and drama teams provide community education on diarrhea. Promotional materials such as posters, leaflets, and radio and TV spots increase awareness.

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