Emory University | Woodruff Health Sciences Center
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Studying impact of water improvement on child health

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The World Bank is investing $140 million for a water improvement project in four urban areas in Mozambique. Rollins researchers have received an NIH grant to assess the health impacts of the project in collaboration with the Mozambican water and health authorities. Led by Drs. Matthew Freeman and Karen Levy, both associate professors in environmental health, the researchers will explore the impact of improvements in the water supply in low-income urban areas on child health, specifically focusing on gut microbial conditions.

“Evidence shows that repeated exposures to diarrheal pathogens change the microbiome of a person's gut,” says Freeman. “These changes are potentially irreversible and could change a person's life course—in terms of nutritional uptake and obesity.”

Levy notes that implications of this go far beyond acute diarrhea in populations. “If early gut exposure impacts nutrition absorption and child growth, that can impact cognitive development,” she says. “That, in turn, could impact whole cultures and the economic growth of countries.”

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"Rollins researchers receive $3.7M to study World Bank's urban water supply improvement project in Mozambique" (6/12/18)


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