Prevalence of diarrhoea among individuals with and without cisterns in the semi-arid region of northeast Brazil

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Marcynuk, Pasha Bauer

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University of Guelph


This thesis investigates the impact of rainwater cisterns on diarrhoea prevalence in northeast Brazil and identifies additional risk and preventative factors on diarrhoea prevalence such as water storage, treatment and consumption, sanitation, household factors, and demographics. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a questionnaire among people with and without household rainwater cisterns. A total of 3689 people from 777 households were included in the analyses. People with a cistern had a significantly lower 30-day period prevalence of diarrhoea than those without (11.0% vs. 18.4%, p<0.001). Multivariable analysis showed that having a cistern (OR 0.47, 95% CI 0.33-0.67), and using chlorine to treat household water (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.38-0.80) were each associated with a lower odds of experiencing diarrhoea. The use of rainwater cisterns and chlorinating household water appears to be a promising way to reduce diarrhoea among individuals in this population.



Northeast Brazil, Rainwater cisterns, Diarrhoea, Prevalence, Clorine