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A Collaborative Investigation Of Health Impact And Water Quality Improvement In Oworobong, Ghana


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D. A. Lardner, S. Meyland, M. K. Jung & M. D. Passafaro


Rural communities in the developing world rely on unsafe surface water which have significant contamination from runoff. This project involved a multidisciplinary international team approach to create a sustainable water supply to an isolated health clinic in a rural village in Ghana. Water testing was conducted over a one year period from the community’s major water sources and compared to World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission guidelines. The engineering team completed a sanitary survey and designed a sustainable rainwater collection system that incorporates filtration and ozone treatment. The project also reviewed medical records of diarrheal disease and malaria cases in the community between wet and dry seasons. The results of statistical analysis showed a trend, though not significant, among the younger patients (ages 0–19) for increased prevalence of waterborne disease during the wet season (19.7%) compared to the dry season (16.0%) (p-value <0.09). There was a significant difference in the prevalence of malaria depending on seasons when stratified by gender and age: an increased prevalence of malaria for older women in the dry season (33.7%) compared to the wet season (24.8%), (p-value <0.01). This paper describes the project and interdisciplinary design. Keywords: K wahu-South, Ghana, waterborne disease, multidisciplinary collaboration, rainwater collection, ozone treatment.


K wahu-South, Ghana, waterborne disease, multidisciplinarycollaboration, rainwater collection, ozone treatment.