Title: Healthier Water, Healthier People: An Approach to Improving Water Quality
Event type: Seminar
Date: 2010-09-05
Time: 14:00 - 17:30
Convenor: United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Health Organization (WHO) Household Water Treatment (HWT) Network, Population Services International (PSI), PATH, ABT Associates and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Room: T6


Event Description
Providing safe, reliable, piped-in water to every household is an important goal that yields optimal health gains, while also contributing to Millennium Development Goal targets. However, these investments in water supply infrastructure are expensive and implemented in a longer timeframe. Meanwhile, simple and inexpensive techniques exist for treating drinking water in the home and storing it in safe containers. These household water treatment and safe storage interventions (HWTS) can be implemented rapidly, with typical reductions of diarrhoea from 30-50%.

Data from WHO’s report on costs vs. impact of various water and sanitation program strategies (Hutton, 2004) shows that combining HWTS with universal coverage of basic, Millennium Development Goal-standard water and sanitation infrastructure will result in a large public health benefit to those most at risk, with only small incremental increase in cost.

The keynote speaker will frame the issues around increasing access to water supply, water quality, and household water treatment options. Three presenters from developing countries, representing both Ministries of Infrastructure and Health, will share their perspectives and experiences with integration and the potential to complement water supply with HWTS. This will be followed by roundtable discussions on key topics related to water supply and HWTS and a reception.

Programme

14:00

Welcome. Megan Wilson, Program Manager, Population Service International

14:05

Healthier Water, Healthier People: Water Supply, Water quality and the Role of Household Water Treatment. Clarissa Brocklehurst, Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, UNICEF

14:20

Rwanda: Fidel Nteziyaremye, National Water Sanitation and Hygiene Coordinator, Ministry of Infrastructure, Rwanda

14:35

Kenya: John Karikui, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Kenya

14:50

Indonesia: Zainal I. Nampira, Head of the Water Sub Section, Environmental Health Department, Ministry of Health, Indonesia

15:05

Questions and Comments

15:30

Coffee Break

15:45

Roundtable Breakout Discussions (Topics may be adjusted to respond to interests of participants)

  1. Development of an Enabling Policy Framework for Water Quality: the Role of Water Safety Plans. Moderated by: Bruce Gordon, Technical Officer, Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health, WHO
  2. Diverse HWTS Products: Different Options for Different Contexts. Moderated by: Pat Lennon, Technology Portfolio Leader, PATH
  3. Importance of Behavior Change Communication: Challenges and Lessons Learned. Moderated by: Merri Weinger, Program Manager, Hygiene Improvement, USAID Bureau for Global Health
  4. How do different delivery channels contribute to scaling up HWTS?

Moderated by: Megan Wilson, Program Manager, PSI

16:45

Discussion and Report Out. Moderated by: Merri Weinger, Program Manager, Hygiene Improvement, USAID Bureau for Global Health

17:10

Summary and Future Directions: International Network to Promote Household Water Treatment. Robert Bos, Coordinator, Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health, WHO

17:30

Conclusion of Seminar

Event Summary and Conclusions
Household water treatment is an important complement to the suite of broader water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions.  Providing safe, reliable, piped-in water to every household is an important goal that yields optimal health gains.  However the majority of people in the developing world still lack access to piped water.  These investments in water supply infrastructure are expensive and implemented in a longer timeframe.  Meanwhile, simple, safe, and inexpensive techniques have been proven to effectively treat drinking water in the home and store it in safe containers. These household water treatment and safe storage interventions (HWTS) can be implemented rapidly, with typical reductions of diarrhea from 30-50% and is an important complement to the suite of broader water, sanitation and hygiene interventions.

National policy plays a critical role in the introduction of HWTS.  It was recommended that WHO expand technical (what works and what doesn’t, when, where) and policy guidance on how governments can best support the implementation of HWTS within their broader water strategy.  Standard are needed to inform intervention choice and ensure product quality.  Country level strategies would seek to address challenges within the national context.  Given the proliferation of agencies and bureaucracies dealing with water and health, countries should consider using the SWAP process to reduce debate and harmonize efforts.
 
Each country context is different and needs to be taken into consideration when deciding on the set of interventions (e.g boiling, SODIS, chlorine, and filters) and how to deliver these interventions.  However experience has shown that leveraging different delivery channels can increase access, availability, awareness of and use of HWTS.  Potential delivery channels include: public sector channels (health clinics, schools, etc..), commercial sector channels (pharmaceutical and retail sales ), community based distribution (community health workers and NGOs); and emergency relief. A major challenge is to move from the "project-level" successes to national scale up.

Education is a critical component to any water, sanitation and hygiene program.  HWTS is no different.  Encouraging uptake of key behaviors can be a major challenge.  Therefore it is important to identify the “key determinants” of behavior change and use this culturally specific information as the foundation for development of key messages.  Successful behavior change campaigns often leverage multiple communication channels (radio, television, community events, community health workers, etc)  and approaches (community mobilization and peer to peer communication) to educate people ( mothers, local leaders, spiritual leaders etc) on what HWTS is, why they use it, and how to use it.  In order to increase campaign sustainability, the local capacity to execute message development research needs to be cultivated at a national level.



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Resources

Population Services International (PSI)
USAID
WHO
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
UNICEF
PATH
Abt Associates
John Hopkins University School of Public Health
Healthier Water, Healthier People: An Approach to Improving Water Quality