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Cholera: Simple Sari Solution is Sustainable, Successful

Preventing cholera could be as easy as straining water. In a new study accepted for the inaugural issue of mBio, researchers show that when you teach villagers how to filter their drinking water, some (but not all) of them still follow the guidance years later and reap the benefits in improved health.

The study followed up on communities in Matlab, Bangladesh, where researchers and public health authorities had trained many villagers in using one or more layers of sari fabric to strain out Vibrio cholerae from drinking water. In Bangladesh, collecting water falls to the women, and five years after their initial training, 31% of village women reported they were still filtering their water. However, in-home observations revealed the actual number was actually closer to 12%, highlighting the need for continuing education in the “how” and the “why” of filtering is a necessity.

A preliminary version of the paper is available on the mBio website, and a final, typeset version of the article will appear in the inaugural issue of the online journal in May.

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