Data: What is the status of Water-borne diseases in India? (2024)

Health, India, Stories

By Sai Krishna Muthyanolla on

Water-borne diseases in India cause a huge disease burden while also resulting in significant loss of life. It is a major cause of death in Children under five. Since water-borne diseases can only be reduced by access to safe drinking water, the government launched the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) in 2009, which is now called the Jal Jeevan Mission.

Among the many things that are life-giving, water stands out as the most critical. Our lives are intrinsically related to water because 60% of our body is water only. Every human needs to consume a certain quantity of water to just function normally. And this consumption of water should be of certain acceptable quality standards. Any imbalances in these standards could make water the most lethal life-taking fluid. In other words, “What Gives Life, Can Also Take Life”.

Access to safe drinking water can improve living standards & life expectancy by reducing the disease burden. Globally, around 2 billion people consume water contaminated with faeces. The consumption of such unsafe water can result in water-borne diseases. According to a 2020 report of WaterAid India, 1 in every 10 people do not have access to a safe drinking water source. In India, these water-borne diseases are estimated to pose an economic burden of approximately 600 million USD per year, as per a UNICEF update. Areas with poor sanitation, inadequate supply and unhygienic practices have a high probability of water-borne disease transmission. If left untreated, these could translate into larger outbreaks, causing a public health emergency. Acknowledging the importance of water and sanitation, the United Nations adopted ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’ under goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals. Reducing the incidence of water-borne diseases is only possible by providing access to safe & affordable drinking water.

In India, the responsibility of providing healthcare facilities lies primarily with the state government as ‘Health’ is a State Subject, and the Union government provides technical and financial assistance to the states. Since water-borne diseases have the potential to become outbreaks, these are captured under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP).

In this story, we look at the data related to the prevalence of water-borne diseases in India over the last few years. The data is primarily sourced from annual National Health Profiles published by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, Jal Jeevan Mission dashboard, and parliamentary questions.

What are water-borne diseases?

In simple terms, these are the diseases that have ‘water’ as the common mode of transmission. This transmission could be either due to the direct consumption of such contaminated water or through food. In addition to direct consumption, using contaminated water for personal hygiene or recreation could also potentially cause diseases. There are four major water-borne diseases that are rampant across the world and India:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid (Enteric fever)
  • Diarrhea
  • Viral Hepatitis A & E

How is the data regarding these water-borne diseases collected?

As stated earlier, these water-borne diseases have the potential to transform into outbreaks, causing a public health emergency. To prevent such rapid spread, the Government of India initiated a program called IDSP in 2004, with the assistance of the World Bank. The primary objective is to detect such outbreaks and provide early warnings. Under this, ‘Surveillance Units’ are set up at all the three levels of the government – Central, State and District. The data is collected on a weekly basis and is directly uploaded at the district level.

Data: What is the status of Water-borne diseases in India? (1)

The reporting is done in three formats:

  • ‘S’ formSuspected cases
  • ‘P’ formPresumptive cases
  • ‘L’ formLaboratory confirmed cases
Data: What is the status of Water-borne diseases in India? (2)

The data is then collected and collated by the designated person, who must be familiar with these reporting formats. After the collation of data, if there is a sudden increase in the cases, it must be informed to the Designated Surveillance Officer (DSO).

These forms have a list of diseases that are to be identified and reported by the designated person. The daily figures are collated under tally sheets and each record is stored for future reference. More on this is available in the IDSP Manual for medical officers.

Data: What is the status of Water-borne diseases in India? (4)

The trend in water-borne diseases in India:

Diarrhea accounted for more than 85% of the major Water-borne disease cases

Among the four major water-borne diseases in India, diarrhea is the most widely reported one, followed by typhoid and viral hepatitis. The cases of cholera are very minimal in comparison to these three. Over the years, from 2013-19, Diarrhoea accounted for more than 85% of all the cases reported under these heads. Rest is comprised of Typhoid, also called enteric fever, with around 14% of the cases and hepatitis with 1% of all the cases.

Huge inter-state variation in the incidence of water-borne diseases

There is a huge inter-state variation in the cases relating to water-borne diseases. Nine states accounted for more than 65% of all the cases reported on diarrhea and typhoid. This category of states is not hom*ogenous- both relatively developed states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and relatively less developed states like Odisha, UP, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan are a part of this group.

Significant increase in Diarrhoea cases in 2019

As noted earlier, Diarrhoea cases make up most of the water-borne disease-related cases. As per a report in IndiaSpend from 2018, diarrhea alone is responsible for more than 60% of the deaths that are caused due to water-borne diseases in India. It is the second leading cause of death in children under the age of five years. Across the states, over the years, there is no clear pattern of the incidence of this disease. Most of the states showed a spike in the year 2019, after which there is a decline in the number of cases of diarrhea reported. However, only in Telangana, there is a clear pattern of reduction over the years.

Efforts to minimize water-borne diseases:

Safe Drinking Water and proper sanitation measures are necessary to prevent the outbreak of water-borne diseases. To achieve these goals, the Government of India launched National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) in 2009. The objective of the scheme was to provide every rural person with safe and adequate water for all purposes. In 2019, the scheme was subsumed under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to provide potable water to every rural household by functional tap connection by the year 2024. Despite the presence of such a program for 13 years, there has not been significant progress in the achievement of objectives. Only 10 states and UTs have been able to provide tap water connection to more than 90% of the households and only 48% of total households in India have a tap water connection as per data on of the JJM as of 13 April 2022.

Water Testing is critical to measure standards

Water testing is an important mechanism to ensure that the provided water is safe and meets acceptable quality standards. Currently, this testing is done in two ways: through field testing kits and to collect samples and test them in the laboratories. These laboratories are spread across India to ensure adequate testing across the country. The status of the country-wise availability of laboratories and the samples tested during 2021-22 as of 14 April 2022 is as below.

Data: What is the status of Water-borne diseases in India? (5)

Climate change increases the likelihood of water-borne diseases:

Climate change leads to a series of cascading events – flooding, heavy rainfall, and increased temperatures across the globe. Because of these events, the transmission pathways are more likely to get affected. As a result, the likelihood of food and water-borne diseases would exacerbate further. Changes in the duration of seasons could also extend the transmission season’s length, further increasing the vulnerability of these diseases.

India is one of those countries that could get severely impacted due to climate change and global warming. Adequate measures should be taken as early as possible to mitigate the effects of climate change on the spread of infectious diseases, which could burden the health sector further.

Featured Image: Water-borne diseases

Data: What is the status of Water-borne diseases in India? (6)

Data: What is the status of Water-borne diseases in India? (2024)


What is the status on water-borne diseases in India? ›

It is estimated that around 37.7 million Indians are affected by waterborne diseases annually; 1.5 million children are estimated to die of diarrhoea alone and 73 million working days are lost due to waterborne disease each year [9].

What is the percentage of water-borne diseases in India? ›

Water-borne diseases can be prevented with improved access to safe drinking water. About 86% Indian households have access to “safe drinking water”, according to official data.
Diarrhoea Took More Lives Than Any Other Water-Borne Disease In India.
Reported Cases And Deaths By Water-Borne Diseases in IndiaViral Hepatitis
5 more columns
30 Apr 2018

What are water-borne diseases answer? ›

Waterborne illness is caused by recreational or drinking water contaminated by disease-causing microbes or pathogens. Of note, many waterborne pathogens can also be acquired by consuming contaminated food or beverages, from contact with animals or their environment, or through person-to-person spread.

What is the percentage of waterborne diseases? ›

The World Health Organization estimates that 80% of diseases worldwide are waterborne.

What are the water-borne diseases Class 7? ›

The names of two water-borne diseases are cholera and typhoid.

What are the water-borne diseases Class 8? ›

Diseases which spread through contaminated water are called water-borne diseases. E.g., cholera, dysentery, etc. Cancer is caused due to abnormal growth of cells and is a non-communicable disease. Common cold and corona virus spread through air.

What is the percentage of water in India? ›

The country has 18 percent of the world's population, but only 4 percent of its water resources, making it among the most water-stressed in the world.

What is the rank of India in water? ›

Globally, India is ranked 120th among 122 countries in WaterAid's water quality index.
Quality of water in India's state capitals.
City rankings as per water quality tests conducted by Bureau of Indian StandardsCatagorisation/Rank15
Number of samples failing11/11
No of individual parameters of samples failing19
20 more columns
3 Dec 2019

What is the major cause of waterborne diseases in India? ›

Hence, a major cause of water-borne diseases in India is the pollution of water. Typhoid fever is caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria transmitted via contaminated water. The patients typically suffer from prolonged episodes of fever, loss of appetite, nausea, headache, constipation, and loss of body weight.

What is the most water borne disease? ›

Diarrhea. The most common of all water-borne diseases, diarrhea, mainly affects children below five years of age. The symptoms include dizziness, dehydration, pale skin, and loss of consciousness in severe cases.

Why are water-borne diseases a problem? ›

Flooding can overwhelm sewage treatment facilities causing bacteria like Legionella and Escherichia coli (E. coli) to grow and develop in stagnant water, such as in unused pipes. Exposure to contaminated water can lead to adverse health effects from waterborne illnesses.

How much percentage of all communicable diseases are waterborne Class 7? ›

The World Health Organization estimates that 80% of diseases worldwide are waterborne.

Who is most at risk for waterborne disease? ›

Most healthy people exposed to water that contains these germs do not get sick. However, there are certain groups of people who are more at risk for illness, such as individuals who are older than 50, are current or former smokers, have an underlying lung condition or a weakened immune system.

How can we prevent waterborne diseases? ›

Prevention of Food and Water Borne Illness
  1. Use good environmental management. ...
  2. Practice good personal hygiene. ...
  3. Take food safety precautions to learn about the fundamentals of food safety so that you can protect yourself, your friends, family and people in your community.
  4. Drink properly treated water.

How many waterborne are there? ›

About 7.2 million Americans get sick every year from diseases spread through water.

How are waterborne diseases eating? ›

Food and water borne illness, often referred to as food poisoning, is generally caused by eating or drinking food or beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites or viruses.

What is the another name of water borne disease? ›

Typhoid Fever

It's spread through contaminated food, unsafe water, and poor sanitation, and it is highly contagious. Symptoms include: A fever that increases gradually. Muscle aches.

What are the types of Borne diseases? ›

WHO works together with many different government sectors to improve water storage, sanitation, thereby helping to control these diseases at the community level.
  • Chikungunya.
  • Dengue and severe dengue.
  • Yellow fever.
  • Zika virus.
  • Malaria.
  • Japanese encephalitis.
  • Lymphatic filariasis.
  • Leishmaniasis.
2 Mar 2020

What is water-borne diseases give two examples? ›

Some waterborne pathogenic microorganisms spread by water can cause severe, life-threatening diseases. Examples are typhoid fever, cholera and Hepatitis A or E.

What are the four types of water related diseases? ›

Common waterborne illnesses include typhoid, cholera, dysentery, gastroenteritis, and hepatitis.

What are the 10 diseases caused by water pollution? ›

Diseases caused by polluted beach water, including: Gastroenteritis. Diarrhea. Encephalitis.
Water Pollution Diseases
  • Typhoid.
  • Giardiasis.
  • Amoebiasis.
  • Ascariasis.
  • Hookworm.

Can I drink water in India? ›

We do not recommend ever drinking tap water in India, as it's just not worth the risk (or the stomach cramps). India is notorious among travelers for sickness – we've all heard horror stories about Delhi belly – and waterborne diseases are common due to bacterial contamination in public water, including E.

Why is water a problem in India? ›

Although India has 16 per cent of the world's population, the country possesses only four per cent of the world's freshwater resources. India is water-stressed due to changing weather patterns and repeated droughts.

Which state has best water in India? ›

The rank is based on the percentage of households which have access to safe drinking water.
List of Indian states and union territories by access to safe drinking water.
RankStatePercentage of households with access to safe drinking water(2011)
2Uttar Pradesh95.1
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Which is the largest water in India? ›

Detailed Solution. The correct answer is The Indira Sagar. Indira Sagar Dam reservoirs is the largest reservoir in India in terms of water storage capacity with capacity of 12.22 billion cubic metres. It is located in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh.

Is water in India clean? ›

Less than 50 per cent of the population in India has access to safely managed drinking water. Chemical contamination of water, mainly through fluoride and arsenic, is present in 1.96 million dwellings.

What is major water pollution in India? ›

There are various kinds of pollution but water pollution is a major concern as it is directly related to the health and wealth of the nation. Further, agricultural waste, unthreatened sewage, solid untreated waste, and small scale industries are major causes of water pollution.

Which part of the world is the most affected by waterborne disease? ›

According to an assessment commissioned by the United Nations, 4,000 children die each day as a result of diseases caused by ingestion of filthy water. The report says four out of every 10 people in the world, particularly those in Africa and Asia, do not have clean water to drink.

What is water borne diseases PDF? ›

Water borne diseases including cholera, Dracunculiasis, Typhoid fever, Diarrhea, Ulcers, Hepatitis, Arsenicosis, Respiratory Tract Infection, Kidney Damage, and Endocrine Damages are very risky for lives of individuals and especially for humans ultimately leading to death.

What is water borne diseases Wikipedia? ›

Waterborne diseases are conditions (meaning adverse effects on human health, such as death, disability, illness or disorders) caused by pathogenic micro-organisms that are transmitted in water. These diseases can be spread while bathing, washing, drinking water, or by eating food exposed to contaminated water.

What is the main issue with water? ›

Agriculture consumes more water than any other source and wastes much of that through inefficiencies. Climate change is altering patterns of weather and water around the world, causing shortages and droughts in some areas and floods in others. At the current consumption rate, this situation will only get worse.

How does water borne diseases affect public health? ›

Microbiologically contaminated drinking water can transmit diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio and is estimated to cause 485 000 diarrhoeal deaths each year.

Why water borne diseases are no longer common in developed countries? ›

While developed nations have made significant progress in water treatment systems to address viruses and pathogens contaminations in water and wastewater, the majority of people have access to improved drinking water, thereby averting waterborne related diseases.

Which of the following is not a waterborne disease Mcq 7? ›

Final answer: Asthma is not a waterborne disease.

Who is affected by waterborne diseases? ›

Child health: With unsafe water, there is serious concern for children, especially those under the age of three. They tend to spend more time playing in areas with high risk of contamination. Their small body size makes them more susceptible to diarrhea-related dehydration (which can be deadly).

What are the three categories of water diseases? ›

Water-borne diseases: infections spread through contaminated drinking water (Diarrhoeal Diseases, Typhoid Fever) Water-washed diseases: diseases due to the lack of proper sanitation and hygiene (Ascariasis =roundworm infection, Ancylostomiasis (=hookworm infection)

Which is the best way of controlling water borne diseases? ›

1. Boil drinking water. 2. Maintain good hygiene by washing the hands with soap and clean water before meals and after visiting the toilet.

How are waterborne diseases treated? ›

In terms of treatment, most people recover from waterborne diseases on their own and only require supportive care. Some people may require antibiotics or other treatment depending on the type of pathogen or contaminant in the water and their ability to fight infections.

How can waterborne diseases be prevented in developing countries? ›

Clean water and sanitation is the key to preventing waterborne diseases.

Why is water quality important? ›

The presence of certain contaminants in our water can lead to health issues, including gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders. Infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems may be especially at risk for illness.

How can the quality of the water be improved? ›

Provide home water-treatment capability through the use of filters, solar disinfection, or flocculants, to make drinking water safe. Promote low-cost solutions, such as chlorine tablets or plastic bottles that can be exposed to sunlight, to improve water quality.

What is water wash disease? ›

Water-washed diseases, such as skin and eye infections, are caused by lack of clean water for washing. • Water-based diseases, such as schistosomiasis, are spread by organisms that develop in water (intermediate hosts) and then become human parasites (skin penetration, ingestion).

Is cholera still a problem in India? ›

Cholera outbreaks are relatively frequent in India. Surveillance data reveal a steady increase in reported cholera outbreaks throughout the country. From 1997 to 2006, 68 outbreaks were reported [8], while the reported outbreaks rose to 559 between 2009 and 2017 [9].

Does India still have cholera? ›

Seven cholera pandemics have occurred in the past 200 years, with the first pandemic originating in India in 1817. The seventh cholera pandemic is officially a current pandemic and has been ongoing since 1961, according to a World Health Organization factsheet in March 2022.

Which Indian state is suffering from water shortage? ›

Rajasthan has suffered water shortage majorly due to less rivers and less rainfall. Q. Which state in India has suffered water shortage majorly due to less rivers and less rainfall?

What is the current status of cholera? ›

Cholera is endemic in approximately 50 countries, primarily in Africa and South and Southeast Asia, and in these areas, it remains a disease associated with poverty. In developed nations, cholera is rare, and cases are typically imported from endemic areas by returning travellers.

Is yellow fever a problem in India? ›

Yellow fever.

It's not a major concern for people traveling in India. You may not need to get the vaccine before you go. But it's important to know that when you get to India you may be asked to show proof of yellow fever vaccination if you visited a country with risk of yellow fever before your arrival in India.

Is there a vaccine for cholera in India? ›

Dukoral® is mainly used for travellers. Two doses of Dukoral® provide protection against cholera for 2 years. Shanchol™ and Euvichol® are essentially the same vaccine produced by two different manufacturers.

Who is most affected by waterborne diseases? ›

The most common of all water-borne diseases, diarrhea, mainly affects children below five years of age.

When did cholera start in India? ›

During the 19th century, cholera spread across the world from its original reservoir in the Ganges delta in India. Six subsequent pandemics killed millions of people across all continents. The current (seventh) pandemic started in South Asia in 1961, reached Africa in 1971 and the Americas in 1991.

How did cholera start in India? ›

The first cholera pandemic emerged out of the Ganges Delta with an outbreak in Jessore, India, in 1817, stemming from contaminated rice. The disease quickly spread throughout most of India, modern-day Myanmar, and modern-day Sri Lanka by traveling along trade routes established by Europeans.

Which state of India has maximum number of cholera? ›

During a 10-yr study period, the States having the highest number of reported cholera outbreaks were West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra and Kerala, which together accounted for 60 per cent of all reported outbreaks.

How can we solve the water crisis in India? ›

Employing agricultural practices such as planting crops that require less water, setting up irrigation systems without leakages, and developing farm-based water conservation structures is very important. This can aid in the protection of forests and development of horticulture.

WHO report on water crisis in India? ›

Facts and Figures. As per Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog in August 2021, 1st in India the annual available water after evapotranspiration is 1999 billion cubic metres (bcm), of which the utilizable water potential is estimated at 1122 bcm.

Which state of India has most water? ›

The list is compiled from the 2011 India Census Report published by Government of India.
List of Indian states and union territories by access to safe drinking water.
RankStatePercentage of households with access to safe drinking water(2011)
2Uttar Pradesh95.1
32 more rows

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