||Salinity and water-related disease risk in coastal Bangladesh
||Asma Khatun Mst and Koji Kotani
||An increase in surface and ground-water salinity due to climate change is reported to have become a great threat to the health of coastal inhabitants in Bangladesh. However, little is known about how much such salinity affects the risk of water-related diseases and how such risk can be mitigated in the field. This research examines the association between water-related diseases and coastal salinity along with sociodemographic and anthropometric factors. We conduct questionnaire surveys with 527 households: 273 subjects from the non-salinity and 254 subjects from the salinity rural coastal areas of Bangladesh. The logistic regression analysis demonstrates that the probability of suffering from water-borne, water-washed and water-related diseases are 8%, 14% and 11% higher in the salinity areas than in the non-salinity areas, respectively. However, it is identified that people who consume rainwater as a drinking source and/or belong to “normal body mass index” have less chances of being affected by water-related diseases even in the salinity areas than those who drink ground/pond water and/or belong to “underweight body mass index.”Overall, the results suggest that the long-term reservation of rainwater and addressing communitybased food security & nutrition programs shall be effective countermeasures to reduce the risk of health problems in the coastal population and to sustain their lives even under the threat of land salinity.
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