Prevalence, bacteriological quality and factors associated with consumption of packaged drinking water in Juba city, South Sudan
Deng, Moses Juach
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Background: In Juba City, manufacturers tend to re-use packaging material, as they struggle to meet the daily high demand for drinking water. The scarcity of safe water for drinking means that a substantial proportion of the residents have to rely on packaged drinking water since packaged water is perceived to be safe. Juba city council’s conduct of routine surveillance is still limited possibly due to insufficient capacity to do so, surveillance on tip-off is so irregular that it may happen once in a while or not happen at all. Methods: A cross-sectional study that involved quantitative methods was used. A Semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data from the 450 respondents. Modified Poisson Regression was used for analysis since the prevalence of Consumption of packaged water was greater than 10%. Membrane filtration method was used for bacteriological examination. A total of 41 Packaged Drinking Water Samples of which 25 were samples of all the three brands and all categories of packaging (600ml, 1.5l and 20l) were sampled from the different large markets and another 16 samples was bought from their respective factories and were examined for bacteriological quality. Results: The prevalence of consumption of packaged drinking water in Juba City, South Sudan was 50%. Respondents who were aged less than or equal to 36.8 years were (Adjusted PR=1.08, CI=1.01-1.16, P-value=0.030) 10% times more likely to consume packaged water compared to those respondents who were aged more than 36.8 years. All the samples showed no growth for fecal coliform. 5% (2/41) of the packaged water analysed showed presence of total coliform above the acceptable levels of 0 cfu/100ml of water set by the WHO and national standards. Conclusion: It can be concluded from the results of this study that a substantial proportions of the Juba City residents consume packaged drinking water; and packaged water sold in retail outlets is safe for consumption. Recommendation: Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation’s in the long run should expand coverage of piped water services as it is the most reliable drinking water service. Also even when the appropriate technologies are in places, failure in protocol adherence can occur. So the drinking water factories should adhere to international, national policy standards and their protocols as it is their mandate.