19 October 2008

Ethiopia: New Water Purification Tablet Launched

Addis Abeba — New water purification tablets called Aquatabs, that are self-dissolving chlorine doses which kill micro-organisms in water to prevent diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery and other water-borne diseases, were officially launched on Thursday at the Global Hotel here.

The tablets, produced by an Irish based manufacturer, are said available in various sizes to treat from 1 liter up to 2,500 liters of water per tablet. They are useable at household levels, for emergency relief, and tourists, Yohannes Gebremedhin, department head of Urban Water Supply in the Ministry of Water Resources said.

The head disclosed that the government of Ethiopia has embarked up on implementation of a Universal Access Program (UAP) for Water Supply and Sanitation Services designed to radically alter the very low coverage and to fully extend these basic services to all communities in the year 1012.

He added that the tablets are believed to make significant contribution to achieve critical element of water, sanitation and hygiene issues, besides scaling-up household-level water treatment and water quality monitoring.

Aquatabs also play remarkable improvements in drinking water quality and reductions in diarrheal diseases as well as improvement on health impacts that can emanate from poor water quality, he added.

Yohannes said, as part of the Millennium Development Goals, the UN expressed its commitment by 2015 to reduce by half the 1.1 billion people living without access to safe potable water. Accordingly, interventions to treat and maintain the microbial quality of water at the household level are among the most promising of these alternatives.

Menassie Kifle, Gneral Manager of Etmedix General Business PLC which imported the tablets, said these products are public wealth provided in affordable prices. The governmental organizations working in water and sanitation sector, pharmacies, NGO's and other concerned bodies should promote the product.

The tablets were used for over the past 20 years in Europe and North America.

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