The situation of water-related infectious diseases in the pan-European region (2016)




By Alexandra V Kulinkina, Enkhtsetseg Shinee, Bernardo Rafael Guzmán Herrador, Karin Nygård and Oliver Schmoll
2016, ix + 29 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 5202 3

The Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes aims at protecting human health and well-being through sustainable water management and the prevention, control and reduction of water-related diseases. Prevention and reduction of water-related diseases is a priority area under the Protocol’s programme of work 2014–2016.

A review of the available evidence reveals significant underreporting and underestimation of the true extent of water-related diseases in the pan-European region, indicating a need to strengthen national capacities for surveillance of these diseases. Campylobacteriosis, giardiasis, hepatitis A and shigellosis are the most commonly reported gastrointestinal infectious diseases that could be attributed to water. According to limited published data, about 18% of investigated outbreaks in the WHO European Region may be associated with this source. There has been progress in setting specific targets for prevention and reduction of water-related diseases and for strengthening surveillance and early-warning systems in accordance with the core provisions of the Protocol.