You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.

Water and Health Linkages

 

In three villages under Chirang district of Assam, there is reported to be an outbreak of a particular disease, the correct diagnosis of which is yet to be completed. However the prima facie symptoms suggest that it is an water related / borne disease.

The affected people suffers from swelling of legs, irrespective of their age / gender / economic condition. Such swelling normally occurs in the portion below knee, without any itching or so. Moreover they are not permanent, sometimes it subsides and again reappears after a certain period of time. Another important observation by the rural people is that the body colour of person, affected by swelling of legs, becomes a little darker than that in normal time. The notable fact is that the affected villages are reported to be malaria prone due to the environmental dampness.

The drinking water sources in the affected villages are basically Ring Well (Dug Well) and hand pumps (partially). It is also reported to be observed that majority of the affected people use water from Ring Well as drinking water.

At present all concerned are in a fix for appropriate course of action. The testing and analysis of water samples from drinking water sources is being undertaken for different water quality parameters (physico-chemical). However, is there any clue that testing and analysis should be carried out for any particular chemical (any heavy Metal / harmful compound). One point may perhaps be worth mentioning here that large scale agricultural farming of Rabi Crops is reported to be existed in nearby areas of the affected villages, wherein chemical fertilizers / pesticides are rampantly used.

Is it a case of Filariasis (Elephantiasis) or any type of water retention or Oedema or any thing else ……………………..???

However with my limited knowledge, I have already advised for the affected areas to ensure ….

  1. all efforts from PHED for disinfections of all drinking water sources.

  2. Awareness generation on

    1. use of mosquito net

    2. Destroying mosquito breeding places.

    3. Personal hygiene and Environmental cleanliness.

    4. Use of boiled water (after cooling) for drinking & bathing.

  3. Consumption of 8-10 cloves of garlic daily as antioxidant.

May I request all expects in this field to share their view and to suggest accordingly.

 


    Nripendra Kumar Sarma
    Public Health Engineering Department, Assam
    Guwahati

Tags:

Comments

1. Dear Nripendra Kumar

Dear Nripendra Kumar Sarma,

 

 

I think the first step to this situation should be a proper medical diagnosis of the symptom(s) (related disease) by a competent medical practitioner to attribute it to water related disease (even though the symptom might be indicative of filariasis). Also besides physiochemical parameters, source water must be tested for microbiological (bacteriological, virological etc.) parameters to understand the role of any water borne pathogen.

 

The precautionary measures taken by you are helpful. However the right interventions can be decided only after proper diagnosis of the disease and causal organisms or any toxicant. I strongly suggest immediate testing of the water from different sources of the affected area for their complete water quality profile and also proper medical diagnosis of the symptoms before any intervention is sought.

 

Regards

 

Anshuman

Associate Fellow

Water Resources Policy and Management

Water Resources Division

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)

New Delhi

2. health linkage

With my limited knowledge, I feel that this type of symptoms may not be due to contaminated water. However, Health Department may be intimated immediately Specially Department of Community Medicine of Medical College.

I get it clarified: Swelling generally does not subsides automatically in case of Filariasis. Thorough check up of the patients is required.

with regards

3. Water & Health Linkage

Dear Sarma,

 

The affected people seem to suffer from skin lesions (known as melanosis — the first stage of arsenicosis (arsenic poisoning). In some people, skin of the palms and feet has turned rough, dry and thick (keratosis) and few others suffer from breathlessness. And that’s not all.

 

Researchers believe that the oxidation (gaining oxygen) of iron releases arsenic into the sediments. It is present in pyrites — iron-containing rocks — that are deposited in the aquifer sediments. When the iron is exposed to oxygen, its capacity to adsorb arsenic reduces and the toxic chemicals start leaching into the aquifers. According to the reduction (loss of oxygen) theory, arsenic is adsorbed by iron oxides that are a part of fine-grained sediments. These sediments are rapidly ‘reducing’ because the organic-rich matter (microbes in the sediments) constantly consumes oxygen. This reduction of the sediments triggers a series of geochemical reactions that lead to the release of arsenic into the groundwater.

 

You can test the water quality to reach accurate results.

 

With best regards,

 

Abhishek Mendiratta

Consultant

Water Resource

New Delhi

4. Dear Nripendra,   As the

Dear Nripendra,


 


As the farmers are using plenty of pesticides the test for pesticides should be carried out. Pesticides are toxic substances and the major source of theses chemicals in surface water or ground water is agricultural runoff. Most of the pesticides are insoluble in water but highly soluble in hydrocarbons and fats. The tests should be carried out in such a manner after verifying the field analysis, check for the pollutants. Then only suitable remedy can be suggested.


 


With regards


 


M.V. ShashiRekha


Chief Chemist


Department of Mines and Geology


Bangalore

5. Dear Sharma,   Affected

Dear Sharma,


 


Affected patients need to be clinically examined for ascertaining the nature of the disease and well water need to be tested for chemical and microbiological characteristics.


 


Although symptoms seem to be like filariasis, periodic occurring of the swelling is not reported in the case filariasis.


 


Suggested interventions are good for the prevention of malaria and water-borne diseases. But the patients need to be


 


 


Regards


 


Leela Iyengar


Advisor              


Arghyam


Bangalore

6. Water & Health Linkage

Dear Sharma,

Affected patients need to be clinically examined for ascertaining the nature of the disease and well water need to be tested for chemical and microbiological characteristics.

Although symptoms seem to be like filariasis, periodic occurring of the swelling is not reported in the case filariasis.

Suggested interventions are good for the prevention of malaria and water-borne diseases.But the patients need to be

Regards

Leela Iyengar
Advisor             
Arghyam
Bangalore

7. Water and Health Linkages

In a number of cases, health is affected by ingestion of contaminated water, whether the contamination is because of chemicals or of biological origin. Therefore, wherever possible, rainwater harvesting should be encouraged and the rainwater used for drinking and cooking. This, of course does not eliminate the ingestion of pesticides from the food items and vegetables consumed but there will be substantial reduction in the intake of the conaminated water.

Indkanth Ragade(isragade@yahoo.com)

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
8 + 4 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 India License.