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Up to 40,000 cases of intestinal infection registered annually in Kyrgyzstan

Up to 40,000 cases of intestinal infection are registered annually in Kyrgyzstan. The Department of Disease Prevention and State Sanitary and Epidemiological Supervision reported.

According to it, 80 percent of the cases are children under 14.

The department noted that in many cases the cause of the disease is water quality.

A high incidence of acute intestinal infections, viral hepatitis A and various parasitic diseases is registered in those regions where access to drinking water is low or absent.

The State Sanitary and Epidemiological Supervision bodies conduct inspections of water supply systems and take samples of drinking water from sources and distribution networks. At least 1,166 water facilities are under control, which are fed from 1,404 sources of drinking water supply, 196 facilities (14 percent) receive water from open sources (rivers, canals, ponds). Every year, about 4,000 inspections are carried out and more than 35,000 samples of drinking water are tested for physical, chemical and microbiological indicators. In 2022, about 1.8 percent of samples did not meet the requirements of the technical regulation on the safety of drinking water in terms of physical and chemical indicators and 8.4 percent — in terms of microbiological indicators.

Many drinking water supply systems, despite the ongoing work on the rehabilitation and construction of water supply networks with the support of donors, remain in poor technical condition and do not meet sanitary and epidemiological requirements.

This is especially observed in villages, where more than 30 percent of the water pipelines lack strict regime zones, round-the-clock security, disinfection units do not function, and there are no specialists in drinking water disinfection. Most of the existing water supply systems are in need of major repairs and are out of order.

More than half of the residents of Jalal-Abad, Talas, Batken and Osh regions receive water without preliminary water treatment, which is dangerous for public health and places a burden on the healthcare system.

«Multiple studies have found out that with improved water quality and access, death rates and cases of diarrheal diseases are reduced by 15 percent, with a combination of safe water and good sanitation — by 30 percent, with an increase in the amount of water — by 27 percent, by 33 percent — with improving hygiene education, by 36 percent — when improving sanitation, and by 55 percent — when improving sanitary state, the quality and quantity of water used,» the department concluded.