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Insurance Article

Tips to Prevent Water-Borne Diseases

June 10 2016
Stagnant water, a source for breeding

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that water-borne diseases kill about 1.8 million people annually worldwide. These numbers primarily include children from developing countries. Moreover, the World Bank states that 21% of communicable diseases in India are water borne.

To stay protected from water-related contaminants, one can follow a few basic procedures. Read on to learn how you can stay in the pink of health during this monsoon:

1. Water Disinfection

Many natural and manmade water resources are polluted with harmful waste. In 2014, Safe Water Network, an organisation that strives to overcome the water challenges of the world, estimated that more than half of the pipelines in Indian rural areas deliver untreated water. Access to safe drinking water is the most significant step to prevent the outbreak of water-borne diseases. Water that is used for cooking or drinking needs to be disinfected on a regular basis. Boiling the water with common iodine for about 10 minutes can make it safe for consumption. This is considered one of the most simple and effective measures to stay protected from water-borne diseases.

Water that is used for cooking or drinking needs to be disinfected on a regular basis. Boiling the water with common iodine for about 10 minutes can make it safe for consumption. This is considered one of the most simple and effective measures to stay protected from water-borne diseases.

2. Personal Hygiene

The transmission of water-borne diseases mainly occurs through various unsanitary sources. Negligence of personal and food hygiene can easily make one susceptible to many endemic illnesses.

Following some basic hygiene practices such as washing your hands and feet on returning home after a walk through the puddles is a must. This can help reduce the likelihood of contracting water-borne diseases like jaundice, cholera and typhoid fever.

3. Environment

A well-sustained environment is the key to a healthier life. The National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDP) states that 95% of the Indian population resides in malaria endemic areas. Transmission of malaria is facilitated due to mosquitoes that breed in open water resources.

The occurrence of malaria and dengue spikes during the monsoon. Sterilising open water resources regularly, preventing water from stagnating, clearing drains, etc. help to maintain a healthy environment and prevent the breeding of disease-causing agents.

4. Vaccination

As per the WHO, vaccines avert up to 3 million deaths globally. Vaccination is an effective method to control the outcome of water-borne diseases. They can be administered to large populations in cases of emergencies. However, they cannot replace conventional measures of prevention.

WHO developed two oral cholera vaccines that were used in mass vaccination campaigns. Today, they are considered an effective tool against high-risk cholera and are being implemented worldwide.

5. Spreading Awareness

Lack of awareness amongst the population regarding the symptoms of water-borne diseases is a major reason for them remaining untreated or undetected. When all precautionary measures fail, prompt medical treatment can still save you from complications.

Mass awareness campaigns, local initiatives and individual ownership can result in timely intervention, diagnosis and cure of water-borne diseases, and not make it the killer it seems to be. Spread the word.

A health emergency can occur to anyone, anytime. To reduce unnecessary worries this monsoon, ensure you are prepared with a comprehensive health insurance plan.

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