WATER AND DIARRHEA
As clean water is one of the few necessities to the sustainability of life, the loss of water through pollution as a result of human activities negatively affects its legitimate uses.
Diarrhea is the second leading cause of mortality in children under the age of five and one of the most common health complaints which can range from a mild, temporary condition to a potentially life-threatening one. Globally diarrhea kills billions of children yearly making it a serious concern to be looked into. It is usually a symptom of infection in the intestinal tract caused by a variety of host bacterial, viruses, and parasitic organisms. The infection is mostly spread through contaminated food (foodborne illness) and water or from person to person as a result of poor hygiene and overconsumption of fish with the carrying pathogens.
SYMPTOMS OF DIARRHEA
As it is the passage of three or more loose or liquid or pasty stools per day or more some other symptoms include:
- Fever and chills
- Body aches
- Weight loss
- Stomach pain
- Bloody stool
- Light headache and dizziness
Diarrhea is caused by a host of bacterial, viruses, and parasitic organisms in the gastrointestinal tract as they are mostly spread by feces and contaminated food and drinking water. A few causative agents include:
The viral agents: norovirus, and rotavirus
Bacterial agents: this could enter the body through contaminated food and water. This includes the Escherichia coli (E.coli) Salmonella and shigella.
Parasitic agents: this could also enter the body through contaminated food and water and settle in the digestive tract e.g. Cryptosporidium enteritis, entamoeba histolytic, and Giardia lamblia.
Most diarrhea doesn't require much treatment as its symptoms disappear within four days. Some of these preventive measures do help to prevent and protect the children and other immune-impaired individuals from the stringency of the illness.
- Drinking clean and safe water.
- Use of improved sanitation and personal hygiene.
- Handwashing with soap and clean water before and after meals and also after the use of the toilet.
- Health education on the spread of diseases and how to prevent it.