Spatial Distribution of Diarrhoea and Microbial Quality of Domestic Water during an Outbreak of Diarrhoea in the Tshikuwi Community in Venda, South Africa
Total microbial quality assessment and geographical information system were used for evaluating the quality of water and the spatial distribution of diarrhoea cases in Tshikuwi, a rural community in South Africa, during an outbreak of diarrhoea. The water-abstraction points included two groundwater storage tanks, namely Tank 1 and Tank 2 and the Khandanama river. Indicator microbial counts for total coliforms, faecal coliforms, enterococci, and heterotrophic bacteria exceeded the limit for no risk as stipulated by the South African water-quality guidelines for domestic use for Tank 1 and the Khandanama river. Vibrio, Salmonella, and Shigella species were prevalent in the Khandanama river. The spatial distribution of diarrhoea cases showed a hot-spot of diarrhoea cases close to Tank 1 and the Khandanama river. Results of chi-square analysis showed that the proportion of infection from each water source was different or that infection depends on the type of water source (?=0.05). The demonstrated spatial clustering of diarrhoea cases might have been influenced by the poor microbial quality of water used from Tank 1 and the Khandanama river. The results further highlight the urgent need of water-treatment facilities and monitoring of water quality in rural communities of South Africa.
J Health Popul Nutr 2009 Oct; 27(5):652-659