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Abstract: PO2040

Public Health Effects of Sterilized, Used Hemodialyzers for Water Purification in Rural Ghana

Session Information

Category: Health Maintenance, Nutrition, and Metabolism

  • 1300 Health Maintenance, Nutrition, and Metabolism


  • Boaheng, Joseph Marfo, Easywater for everyone, Accra, Ghana
  • Raimann, Jochen G., Easywater for everyone, Accra, Ghana
  • Narh, Philip Kwaku, Ghana Health Service, Ada, Ghana
  • Johnson, Seth, Easywater for everyone, Accra, Ghana
  • Donald, Linda L., Easywater for everyone, Accra, Ghana
  • Matti, Harrison Kwame, Easywater for everyone, Accra, Ghana
  • Ferris, Maria E., University of North Carolina System, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
  • Lamolle, Mathieu, Water for Everyone, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Zhang, Hongbin, Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, New York City, New York, United States
  • Port, Friedrich K., Arbor Research Collaborative for Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • Levin, Nathan W., Easywater for everyone, Accra, Ghana

Consumption of contaminated water is a risk factor for infectious diarrhea and according to estimates of the World Health Organization remains the most often reported cause of death in children and the elderly. Our organization “Easy Water for Everyone (EWfE)” uses a membrane filtration device with repurposed hemodialyzers and has achieved remarkable public health effects (Raimann for EWfE, SciRep 2020). Here we report the impact our project had on the incidence of diarrhea in two villages in rural Ghana.


This prospective study was conducted with approval from Ghana Health Services and involved the quantification of self-reported diarrhea 4 months before and after implementation of a membrane filtration device in a school and a primary healthcare center. Using a mixed-effects generalized linear model, the odds of developing diarrhea in presence of the membrane filtration device were estimated. We additionally tested the association of age on the estimate, and conducted a subset analyses in those younger than 15 years old. Analyses were conducted in R version 4.0 and odds ratios (OR) reported as OR (95%CI).


We studied 927 villagers (55% female, 43% <15 yrs and 13% > 50yrs) and the incidence rate of diarrhea was 0.30 per subject month per village-month before and 0.26 after implementation of the device. We found a statistically significant association between the device and incidence of diarrhea [OR 0.79 (0.67 to 0.95)] with significantly higher odds of diarrhea in the younger [OR 1.32 (1.07 to 1.63)] and the elderly [OR 1.45 (1.06 to 1.99)].


Our study supports provision of clean drinking water as means to prevent diarrhea and its possible adverse sequelae such as acute kidney injury (AKI). Additionally, we conclude the youngest and the eldest in the population are at highest risk of diarrhea.