Document Detail

Modeling the complexities of water, hygiene, and health in Limpopo Province, South Africa.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23186073     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Researchers have long studied the causes and prevention strategies of poor household water quality and early childhood diarrhea using intervention-control trials. Although the results of such trails can lead to useful information, they do not capture the complexity of this natural/engineered/social system. We report on the development of an agent-based model (ABM) to study such a system in Limpopo, South Africa. The study is based on four years of field data collection to accurately capture essential elements of the communities and their water contamination chain. An extensive analysis of those elements explored behaviors including water collection and treatment frequency as well as biofilm buildup in water storage containers, source water quality, and water container types. Results indicate that interventions must be optimally implemented in order to see significant reductions in early childhood diarrhea (ECD). Household boiling frequency, source water quality, water container type, and the biofilm layer contribution were deemed to have significant impacts on ECD. Furthermore, concurrently implemented highly effective interventions were shown to reduce diarrhea rates to very low levels even when other, less important practices were suboptimal. This technique can be used by a variety of stakeholders when designing interventions to reduce ECD incidences in similar settings.
Jonathan E Mellor; James A Smith; Gerard P Learmonth; Vhonani O Netshandama; Rebecca A Dillingham
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2012-12-06
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental science & technology     Volume:  46     ISSN:  1520-5851     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Sci. Technol.     Publication Date:  2012 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-12-18     Completed Date:  2013-06-04     Revised Date:  2014-01-09    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0213155     Medline TA:  Environ Sci Technol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  13512-20     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Models, Biological*
Reproducibility of Results
South Africa
Water / chemistry*
Grant Support
1R24TW008798/TW/FIC NIH HHS; 1R25TW007518-03S1/TW/FIC NIH HHS; K23 AI077339/AI/NIAID NIH HHS; K23AI077339/AI/NIAID NIH HHS; R24 TW008798/TW/FIC NIH HHS; R25 TW007518/TW/FIC NIH HHS
Reg. No./Substance:

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