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Abstract: Worldwide, diarrheal disease is a leading cause of death affecting over 1.7 million individuals annually. Much of this can be attributed to lack of clean water, sanitation and hygiene. Nearly all of these deaths occur in countries with developing economies. This public health problem is apparent in the island of Hispaniola; the island that is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Significant gaps in income between the countries have resulted in Haitians migrating into the Dominican Republic. While there has been increased migration into the Dominican Republic, many of the neighborhoods remain segregated. A cross-sectional analysis was conducted at 49 sites in the Dominican Republic. Samples were classified as being from a Haitian neighborhood or Dominican neighborhood and analyzed for microbial contamination. Overall, Haitian neighborhoods were found to have statistically significantly higher levels of contamination of both coliform and E. coli. The odds of having E. coli contaminated water in Haitian neighborhoods are 4.25 times as high as Dominican neighborhoods. The odds of having coliform contaminated water in Haitian neighborhoods are 4.78 times as high as Dominican neighborhoods. This study provides evidence of the disparity in access to clean drinking water for Haitian immigrants and highlights the need for further investigation.


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Int J Environ Res Public Health, 13 (1). DOI:

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