Point-of-use water treatment and diarrhoea reduction in the emergency context: an effectiveness trial in Liberia

Trop Med Int Health. 2006 Oct;11(10):1542-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2006.01704.x.


Communicable diseases are of particular concern in conflict and disaster-affected populations that reside in camp settings. In the acute emergency phase, diarrhoeal diseases have accounted for more than 40% of deaths among camp residents. Clear limitations exist in current water treatment technologies, and few products are capable of treating turbid water. We describe the findings of a 12-week effectiveness study of point-of-use water treatment with a flocculant-disinfectant among 400 households in camps for displaced populations in Monrovia, Liberia. In intervention households, point-of-use water treatment with the flocculant-disinfectant plus improved storage reduced diarrhoea incidence by 90% and prevalence by 83%, when compared with control households with improved water storage alone. Among the intervention group, residual chlorine levels met or exceeded Sphere standards in 85% (95% CI: 83.1-86.8) of observations with a 95% compliance rate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Chlorine / analysis
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology
  • Diarrhea / prevention & control*
  • Disinfectants*
  • Disinfection / methods
  • Female
  • Flocculation
  • Household Articles
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Liberia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Warfare
  • Water / analysis
  • Water Microbiology
  • Water Pollution
  • Water Purification / methods*
  • Water Supply / standards*


  • Disinfectants
  • Water
  • Chlorine