Public health benefits of water purification using recycled hemodialyzers in developing countries

Jochen G. Raimann, Joseph Marfo Boaheng, Philipp Narh, Harrison Matti, Seth Johnson, Linda Donald, Hongbin Zhang, Friedrich Port, Nathan W. Levin

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7 Scopus citations


In rural regions with limited resources, the provision of clean water remains challenging. The resulting high incidence of diarrhea can lead to acute kidney injury and death, particularly in the young and the old. Membrane filtration using recycled hemodialyzers allows water purification. This study quantifies the public health effects. Between 02/2018 and 12/2018, 4 villages in rural Ghana were provided with a high-volume membrane filtration device (NuFiltration). Household surveys were collected monthly with approval from Ghana Health Services. Incidence rates of diarrhea for 5-month periods before and after implementation of the device were collected and compared to corresponding rates in 4 neighboring villages not yet equipped. Data of 1,130 villagers over 10 months from the studied communities were studied. Incidence rates showed a decline following the implementation of the device from 0.18 to 0.05 cases per person-month (ppm) compared to the control villages (0.11 to 0.08 ppm). The rate ratio of 0.27 for the study villages is revised to 0.38 when considering the non-significant rate reduction in the control villages. Provision of a repurposed hemodialyzer membrane filtration device markedly improves health outcomes as measured by diarrhea incidence within rural communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11101
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

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© 2020, The Author(s).

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