27 April 2010
By Umesh Isalkar
The high incidence of water–borne diseases corroborates another recent report by the State Public Health Laboratory (SPHL), which indicated that much of the state’s water was unfit for drinking, due to a significant percentage of microbial and faecal contamination.
The report lists the main water–borne diseases as gastroenteritis, cholera, diarrhoea, infective hepatitis and typhoid.
The highest number of outbreaks (163) were those of gastroenteritis, followed by diarrhoea (84), infection hepatitis (13) and cholera (6), states the report. Gastroenteritis claimed 53 deaths, followed by cholera (24), diarrhoea (13) and infective hepatitis (3).
Other districts with outbreaks of water–borne diseases were Thane (13), Nashik (14), Satara (14), Parbhani (13), Buldhana (15) and Yavatmal (13).
“The results of water samples tested at the public health laboratories in the state have indicated alarming levels of contamination in water in rural areas. This clearly indicates the failure of the government agencies responsible for keeping water safe and potable for people,” said Prakash Doke, executive director of the State Health Systems Resource Centre (SHSRC). The World Bank estimates 21% of communicable diseases in India are water–related.