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Evaluation of an Emergency Bulk Chlorination Project Targeting Drinking Water Vendors in Cholera-Affected Wards of Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, Tanzania

In August 2015, an outbreak of cholera was reported in Tanzania. In cholera-affected areas of urban Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, many households obtained drinking water from vendors, who sold water from tanks ranging in volume from 1,000 to 20,000 L. Water supplied by vendors was not adequately chlorinated. The Tanzanian Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and the U.N. Children’s Fund, Tanzania, collaborated to enroll and train vendors to treat their water with 8.68-g sodium dichloroisocyanurate tablets (Medentech, Ireland). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided monitoring and evaluation support. Vendors were provided a 3-month supply of chlorine tablets. A baseline assessment and routine monitoring were conducted by ward environmental health officers. Approximately 3 months after chlorine tablet distribution, an evaluation of the program was conducted. The evaluation included a full enumeration of all vendors, an in-depth survey with half of the vendors enumerated, and focus group discussions. In total, 797 (88.9%) vendors were included in the full enumeration and 392 in the in-depth survey. Free residual chlorine (FRC) was detected in 12.0% of tanks at baseline and 69.6% of tanks during the evaluation; however, only 17.4% of these tanks had FRC 3 0.5 mg/L. The results suggest high acceptability and use of the chlorine tablets by water vendors. However, given variation in the water source used and longer storage times, dosing could be increased in future programming. Bulk chlorination using chlorine tablets offers an efficient community-level approach to treating water closer to the point of use.

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