The paper is an examination of a water purification device to be utilized in the continent of Africa for the process of de-contaminating drinking water. This is in response to common cholera outbreaks synonymous to third world countries. The research paper shall give facts and figures surrounding this disease. Additionally, it shall look at a literature review on the product created to combat this disease. The product The latter device is to be utilized in the process of providing safe drinking water for sources that one may not trust. Examples here include water from streams, lakes, ponds and others.
This product differs from other water purification devices because it is quite light and convenient to carry. Individuals need not burden themselves with bulky pumps or many chemicals to treat their water. Additionally, it can cope with large amounts of water that may need purification. The purpose of this device is to remove a series of contaminants that are found in unsafe waters. This product can purify water to a level that makes it fit for instant human consumption. The following can be eliminated through the product: •Salmonella •e-coli •mold •fungi
•cryptosporidium •giardia •non metallic substances (SASI Group, 2008) Additionally, this product is also effective at improving the clarity of water and its taste too. It should be noted that in certain cases, water may not taste properly because of the toxins that are prevalent. Once there is a way of eradicating those toxins, then chances are that the water will look and even taste better. It should be noted that this product is non electrical and there is no need for batteries or any other electrical source to be used in order to make the product effective.
It can be used in residential areas, offices, restaurants, schools, health centers or any other public place in which people may need to take some drinking water. Statistics on the disease and the corresponding disability Cholera as a disease is caused by Bacterium Vibrio Cholerae; it is a diarrheal disease that can affect members from any age group. Additionally, it may attack an individual irrespective of their gender or other demographic factors. Statistics indicate that close to three hundred million people in Africa do not have access to safe drinking water.
This puts them at a risk of catching water borne diseases such as cholera. While there are many health complications that could result out of drinking unsafe water, the papers shall focus on cholera specifically. Cholera has frequently been used as an indicator of social development because it is often associated with poor countries. In this decade, more and more countries are coming out of the cholera cycle. However, there are still numerous people throughout the world who are still confronted with the disease. This is usually in cases where that population lacks access to safe drinking water.
(Zuckerman et al, 2004) The population under consideration is the continent of Africa. This population was chosen because of the fact that recent statistics indicate that it is the continent with the highest prevalence rates of the disease. In fact the Centre for Disease Control within the United States asserts that cholera is an indicator of poverty and substandard living conditions. Usually, even the amount of water that poor people can access is quite minimal. If access to water is a problem in itself, then quality of that water is never a bother for a number of these countries.
As of 2000, there were close to twenty seven countries that reported outbreaks within the continent of Africa. Besides that, it has also been shown that a number of sub-Saharan countries lack proper water and sewage treatment facilities. This situation is usually exacerbated by the rainy season or in times of floods. According to a number of humanitarian sources, cholera prevalence is quite high in the continent because of the lack of proper structures required for water treatment. In most cases, these structures may be destroyed through natural disasters or political conflicts that are quite common in the continent.
(WHO, 2009) It should be noted that cholera pandemics did not begin in this continent – they were associated with the Indonesia as far back as 1961. At that time, the disease spread to other parts of the world such as West Africa during the nineteen seventies. As a result of the occurrence of this disease, now it has become synonymous to the African continent. During the nineteen nineties, prevalence of cholera within the continent began increasing at alarming levels. This was mostly because at that time, the El Nino rains prevalent in the Horn of Africa had began.
Countries that recorded these high cholera prevalence levels included Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique and Democratic Republic of Congo. This also coincided with high prevalence rates within the continent of Africa. The latter cases were reported in 1997. In 1998, the figures went soaring as they increased by seventy nine percent. This was the highest rate of increase that had ever been recorded from a particular region. The total number of cholera cases documented reached a whooping two hundred and eleven thousand, seven hundred and forty eight thousand cases in total.
This amounted to seventy two percent of all the cholera cases within the world. Such estimates indicate that there is indeed a need for drastic actions to be taken in this continent and any efforts to address cholera would not be complete without examination of the continent of Africa. In Tanzania (specifically at Zanzibar town), this country reported the highest prevalence for the second consecutive year from 1997. This country reported forty three thousand cases in that year. It was followed by Uganda which recorded eighteen thousand reports of cholera that year.
Kenya and Somalia followed shortly after with cases of eighteen thousand and fourteen thousand seven hundred respectively. In the year 2000, South Africa also recorded outstanding figures of cholera i. e. one hundred and six thousand. By eighth August 2001, close to two hundred and thirty deaths had been caused as a result of the disease. During that year, South Africa accounted for close to eighty percent of all the cholera outbreaks in the world. These were assertions made by the world health organization in the matter. Also, in that same year, there were a series of outbreaks recorded in the following countries
•Burkina Faso •Guinea •Cotedivore Usually, communities that are ill equipped for cholera tend to record greater death rates than those that are. Health estimates indicate that in certain situations, mortality rates can reach fifty percent. These death rates sharply contrast those that may result when the response rates are well organized and well coordinated. WHO claim that there may be approximately one percent death rates in the latter scenario. Most of the time, such developing nations tend to lack treatment facilities and this means that more casualties will occur.
Consequently, the best bet to tackle cholera within this continent is by preventing the occurrence of the disease in the first place. The World Health Organization further adds that almost all developing nations are dealing with cholera outbreaks. Since numerous developing nations are found in the latter continent, then this further justifies the need to invest in cholera treatment and prevention in this continent. The most recent case occurred in late 2008 and early 2009 within the Southern part of the continent; specifically Zimbabwe.
The latter country is basically a failed state in which political tensions caused by their current leader have led to the highest inflation levels ever recorded in the world, the worst economy and subsequently, some of the highest prevalence of diseases ever known to the latter country. It has been shown that the losses Zimbabwe has experienced as a result of cholera outbreaks amount to a whooping one billion dollars. In fact, there are three things that have been pointed out as ways of dealing with the current crisis in Zimbabwe.
The first goal is short term and it should address the issue of keeping Zimbabweans alive. The second issue refers to the mid term plan in which disease-spread to other borders ought to be prevented. The long term goal of dealing with this matter is by handling hygiene matters. Experts who have been looking at the situation in Zimbabwe claim that a holistic approach to the problem had not been taken through the use of sanitation facilities, hygiene and safe drinking water and this led to their current circumstances. (WHO, 2009)
There have been numerous efforts within this continent to come up with medical solutions. For instance cholera vaccines have been tried and developed in South Africa. However, it was found that a number of prerequisites are necessary to ensure that a cholera vaccine works. First of all, the vaccine should have high protective qualities; this is not the case for current ones. Secondly, the vaccine should not be too expensive for affected individuals because the very people who are affected by cholera tend to come from poor backgrounds.
On top of that, the vaccine should not have high duration periods before showing results. Getting hold of a vaccine that possesses all the latter traits can be very tricky. Medical experts agree that the best bet lies in addressing the root causes of the problem. In fact, even if a vaccine that possessed all the latter qualities was introduced into the market, then chances of eradicating cholera in Africa completely would still be minimal if preventive measures are not sought. One such preventive measure is treatment of water as will be the case through the water treatment device mentioned above.
(SASI Group, 2008) The continuous existence of cholera within Africa should be an adequate indication that public health and sanitation are in dire need of reform within this continent. Consequently, introduction of such a product into the region should definitely be considered. The following table summarizes some of the countries that have reported high prevalence rates of cholera through the world. These are statistics valid for the year 2006. A lot may have occurred over the next two years but these numbers indicate what a long way the latter continent has to go in order to combat cholera.
As it can be seen from the latter illustration, about three quarters of the highest prevalence cases emanate from the continent of Africa thus indicating that there is a need to develop mechanisms for dealing with this problem more adequately. Effects of cholera outbreaks Cholera outbreaks can cause a number of restrictions on the populations under consideration. The first and most drastic effect is death. Different portions of the report shall reveal the number of cholera related deaths that have occurred within the continent of Africa over the recent past.
Additionally, cholera can cause serious health complications in the event that the person affected does not die from the disease. In this regard, it is often common to find that patients are hindered from being fully functioning members of society because the sickness often renders them immobile. This eventually affects their social and economic commitments since such people cannot play productive roles within their communities. Most often than not, this can lead to economic impediment when the numbers are quite high. In cases where a cholera outbreak was large, this can lead to panic.
Eventually, such countries tend to react in a haphazard way that may lead to excessive or unnecessary reactions. Examples here include imposition of travel bans or the isolation of a certain population from the rest of the world. (Zuckerman et al, 2004) Usually cholera can cause mild diarrhea among the affected parties. Besides that, it could also lead to severe cases of vomiting and diarrhea. Usually, ten percent of the victims may begin vomiting or passing loose stool anywhere between six hours to five days of exposure to the complication.
In the latter case, when a patient looses much fluid, then it is likely that the particular person may suffer from dehydration. In some patients, this may be very mild dehydration while in others substantial fluids may be lost thus leading to severe dehydration. When there are no treatment interventions made then this level of dehydration can lead to death. It should be noted that death can occur within a matter of hours after the onset of severe dehydration. Usually, the bacteria present in human feces of infected persons can be the major source of contamination.
In other circumstances, it is common to find the Vibrio Cholerae bacterium living in coastal waters or any brackish waters. Consequently, the disease spreads through drinking water or through the sewer system if it is not adequately treated. How to react to cholera outbreaks Cholera can break out in any part of the world as long as that area lacks any of the following: food safety, sanitation, water supplies and proper hygiene. Some of the greatest risks are those ones that may be brought on by refugee settings in which drinking water may not be safe.
Additionally, it is also common to find these outbreaks in populated settings or crowded communities. Such characteristics are quite common in Africa. In the event that a cholera outbreak occurs in any area, there are three major issues that have to be handled at nay one time and they include; 1)Disposal of human waste properly 2)Ensure adequate supply of cleaning water to residents 3)Maintain hygienic standards when tackling the disease The second item on the latter list is what has been given special attention in the paper.
If the continent of Africa can find a way of dealing with safe drinking after during and before cholera outbreaks, then it would not have to waste numerous resources to deal with the aftermath of the problem that may result in death or otherwise. Instead, this continent can adopt a preventive approach to the disease by offering their people safe drinking water. When worse goes to worst; i. e. when there is a cholera outbreak, then there should be more emphasis on what can be done to deal with the root cause of the condition i. e. through provision of safe drinking water. This can be achieved through the use of the latter mentioned device.
(Zuckerman et al, 2004) It should be noted that there are many scenarios in which people have coped with the disease through the administration of drugs; normally this is done through the help of a certain antibiotic. On the other hand, this method is quite individualistic in nature and not all people may be able to afford it. Once again, the weaknesses inherent in the use of antibiotics can be countered through preventive mass treatment aimed at targeting the overall nature of the disease is the best way. In fact, health experts say that using antibiotics to prevent cholera is not an effective method and should never be attempted.