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The lancet and the gum-lancet: 400 years of teething babies



The lancet and the gum-lancet: 400 years of teething babies



Lancet 348(9043): 1710-1711



During December 1995-March 1996 in Kajiado Province, Kenya, 206 Maasai children, 5-16 years old, whose drinking water was contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria, were assigned 1.5 liter plastic bottles in which to store their drinking water. These bottles were re-used commercial table water bottles. The families of the children had only community sources for drinking water: 2 open water-holes and 1 tank fed from a piped supply. These water sources were not suited to chlorination. Scarce fuel and indoor air pollution precluded boiling water inside the hut. In the presence of their mothers, 108 children (the solar group) were told to fill the bottles with water at dawn, leave them in full sunlight on the roofs of their homes, and wait until midday before drinking from the bottles. The remaining 98 children (the control group) were told to leave the bottles in their homes. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effect of solar disinfection on diarrheal disease in these Maasai children. Over a 12-week period, children in the solar group suffered fewer diarrhea episodes than those in the control group (4.1 vs. 4.5; adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.66). They also were less likely to have diarrhea episodes severe enough to prevent them from doing their chores (1.7 vs. 2.3; AOR = 0.65). These findings suggest that solar disinfection of water may reduce diarrhea in communities with no access to other means of disinfection.

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Accession: 033856893

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8973438

DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(96)05105-7


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