It is estimated that around 37.7 million Indians are affected by water-borne diseases annually, 1.5 million children are estimated to die of diarrhoea alone, and 73 million working days are lost due to water-borne disease each year. The resulting economic burden is estimated at $600 million a year. Owning the largest share, India has a significant role to play in achieving global Sustainable Development Goals. In such scenario, monitoring of drinking water quality and its improvement plays a significant role in ensuring public health and reducing economic burden. Taking cue from this, a study was designed to assess the efficiency of water quality laboratories established under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme in the State of Madhya Pradesh. In the state, which tops the list of states in the country with the highest infant mortality rate (IMR), the drinking water quality assessment infrastructure is not in a position to monitor the water quality in rural areas. The study assessed that none of the 56 laboratories was able to perform a minimum of 3000 tests per year (annual analysis load) in the state for monitoring water quality. This paper presents the findings of the statewide status of water quality in rural areas and also qualitative assessment of 56 water quality laboratories in 16 districts.
Part of the book: The Relevance of Hygiene to Health in Developing Countries