Bacterial contamination of drinking water and the economic burden of illnesses for the Nepalese households

Int J Environ Health Res. 2006 Oct;16(5):385-90. doi: 10.1080/09603120600869448.


A household survey was conducted to determine the number of working days lost and household medical expenditure (ME) due to six water-borne diseases in the Terai region of Nepal. Drinking water sources of each household were analysed for total coliforms (TC). The study found 61% of the household water sources were contaminated with TC at the time of sampling. Number of days lost due to water-borne diseases was 8 days for TC-negative households and 10 days for TC-positive households per year. The average annual household medical expenditure was NR 459 for TC-negative households, and NR 789 for TC-positive households (p = 0.02 at proportional to = 0.05). Regression result showed that the presence of TC in the drinking water sources, number of children in the household and income of the household significantly determined ME.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bacteria
  • Cost of Illness
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nepal
  • Regression Analysis
  • Rural Health
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Water
  • Water Microbiology*
  • Water Pollutants*
  • Water Supply*


  • Water Pollutants
  • Water