Fighting waterborne disease

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A new research paper finds that simple hand washing and point-of-use water treatment outperform traditional community-level water provision systems in preventing diarrheal diseases, which kill 2 million children in developing countries per year.

In Africa, where the poorest spend nearly $6 billion a year on drinking water, this growing market has attracted successful point-of-use and other purification models. A Madagascar sustainable local enterprise called Sur’Eau produces a water-sanitizing solution that effectively treats 20 liters – enough drinking water for a family for a day – for less than a penny. Procter & Gamble sells PuR, a dilute bleach product, that at a price of $0.10 per sachet purifies 2.5 gallons of water.

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