Are ceramic water filters effective in preventing diarrhoea and acute malnutrition among under-five children in Sudan?
Access to safe drinking-water at home is essential during the outpatient treatment of children with acute malnutrition due to their increased vulnerability to infections and disease. The study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of ceramic water filters with safe storage in preventing diarrhoea and acute malnutrition among under-five children in Kassala state, Sudan. It was designed as an open-label randomized controlled trial, comparing two study groups. Data was collected through face-to-face interviews and direct observations, then processed and analysed using Epi Info 188.8.131.52. Use of water filters is a potential predictor of number of diarrhoea episodes per child (P < 0.001). The intervention group had a lower diarrhoea occurrence (P < 0.001), better monthly average weight gain (P = 0.012) and average mid-upper arm circumference increase (P = 0.001), and lower prevalence of acute malnutrition at the end of the study (P = 0.001) compared with the control group. Ceramic water filters with safe storage can be effective in preventing diarrhoea and acute malnutrition, and beneficial to children admitted to Community Management of Acute Malnutrition programmes in Kassala state. More research is needed to understand the pathways to achieving these outcomes. Other WASH interventions may be needed to interrupt the primary vectors of diarrhoea disease transmission in this setting.