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Water Quality, Sanitation, and Hygiene Conditions in Schools and Households in Dolakha and Ramechhap Districts, Nepal: Results from A Cross-Sectional Survey

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Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, P.O. Box, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland
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University of Basel, Petersplatz 1, CH-4001 Basel, Switzerland
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School of Medical Sciences, Kathmandu University, P.O. Box 11008, Dhulikhel, Nepal
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Aquatic Ecology Centre, School of Science, Kathmandu University, P.O. Box 6250, Dhulikhel, Nepal
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sayed M. Hassan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010089
Received: 18 November 2016 / Revised: 3 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Pollution and Human Health Risk)
This study assessed drinking water quality, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions among 708 schoolchildren and 562 households in Dolakha and Ramechhap districts of Nepal. Cross-sectional surveys were carried out in March and June 2015. A Delagua water quality testing kit was employed on 634 water samples obtained from 16 purposively selected schools, 40 community water sources, and 562 households to examine water quality. A flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer was used to test lead and arsenic content of the same samples. Additionally, a questionnaire survey was conducted to obtain WASH predictors. A total of 75% of school drinking water source samples and 76.9% point-of-use samples (water bottles) at schools, 39.5% water source samples in the community, and 27.4% point-of-use samples at household levels were contaminated with thermo-tolerant coliforms. The values of water samples for pH (6.8–7.6), free and total residual chlorine (0.1–0.5 mg/L), mean lead concentration (0.01 mg/L), and mean arsenic concentration (0.05 mg/L) were within national drinking water quality standards. The presence of domestic animals roaming inside schoolchildren’s homes was significantly associated with drinking water contamination (adjusted odds ratio: 1.64; 95% confidence interval: 1.08–2.50; p = 0.02). Our findings call for an improvement of WASH conditions at the unit of school, households, and communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: cross-sectional survey; drinking water quality; hygiene; Nepal; sanitation; schoolchildren cross-sectional survey; drinking water quality; hygiene; Nepal; sanitation; schoolchildren
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Shrestha, A.; Sharma, S.; Gerold, J.; Erismann, S.; Sagar, S.; Koju, R.; Schindler, C.; Odermatt, P.; Utzinger, J.; Cissé, G. Water Quality, Sanitation, and Hygiene Conditions in Schools and Households in Dolakha and Ramechhap Districts, Nepal: Results from A Cross-Sectional Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 89.

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