Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Developing countries: School sick days could be reduced with safe drinking water

Date:
March 14, 2014
Source:
University of East Anglia
Summary:
Providing free drinking water in schools in developing countries could be key to helping people in developing countries lift themselves out of poverty according to research. The new research shows that schools providing clean water report fewer children off sick. It is the first study to investigate whether providing drinking water in schools can reduce absenteeism.

Providing free drinking water in schools could be key to helping people in developing countries lift themselves out of poverty according to research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Research published shows that schools providing clean water report fewer children off sick. It is the first study to investigate whether providing drinking water in schools can reduce absenteeism.

Researchers looked at absentee rates in eight schools in Cambodia -- half of which received treated drinking water, and half of which did not. The 26-week study period spanned two terms -- one in the country's dry season and one in the wet season. The absentee records of 3520 children were taken into account.

They found that during the dry period, children without access to clean water were about 2.5 times more likely to be absent from school than children where water was provided.

Prof Paul Hunter from UEA's Norwich Medical School said: "We focused our intervention on local communities that have poor access to clean drinking water. Each participating school was given a 20-litre bottle of clean drinking water per class each day.

"We found lower absenteeism in the schools that received the free clean water -- however this association was only seen in the dry season. During the wet season, absenteeism increased in all eight schools, which is explained by children being kept off school to help in the fields.

"Education is one of the most important factors that enables children to fulfil their potential later in life and reduce poverty. Better education is also associated with substantial health gains -- especially for child health in future generations and in reducing child mortality. However, even when schooling is available, absenteeism rates can be high. Clearly reducing student absenteeism is vital to improve educational attainment and alleviate poverty.

"As well as helping to reduce waterborne infectious disease, providing free drinking water helps combat dehydration. Even mild dehydration in children may be associated with poor health, and previous studies have shown that keeping well-hydrated improves cognition and energy levels in children. So providing free water in schools would improve children's general wellbeing and learning experience.

"The overall cost of the scheme equated to $1.4 USD per child per year -- a very modest cost compared to the potential educational benefits and subsequent life potential," he added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of East Anglia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Paul R. Hunter, Helen Risebro, Marie Yen, Hιlθne Lefebvre, Chay Lo, Philippe Hartemann, Christophe Longuet, Franηois Jaquenoud. Impact of the Provision of Safe Drinking Water on School Absence Rates in Cambodia: A Quasi-Experimental Study. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (3): e91847 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091847

Cite This Page:

University of East Anglia. "Developing countries: School sick days could be reduced with safe drinking water." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140314212220.htm>.
University of East Anglia. (2014, March 14). Developing countries: School sick days could be reduced with safe drinking water. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140314212220.htm
University of East Anglia. "Developing countries: School sick days could be reduced with safe drinking water." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140314212220.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — The mystery of the moving rocks in Death Valley, California, has finally been solved. Scientists are pointing to a combo of water, ice and wind. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

AP (Aug. 27, 2014) — Thundering surf spawned by Hurricane Marie pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town. High surf warnings were posted for Los Angeles County south through Orange County. (Aug. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

AP (Aug. 26, 2014) — Researchers at UC Berkeley are testing a prototype of an earthquake early warning system that California is pursuing years after places like Mexico and Japan already have them up and running. (August 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins