Doctor Mohammed Rajeh, a GP - General Practitioner - based in Sana'a told the Yemen Post on Monday he was concerned over the quality of water drank by his patients in the last few months as he had noticed a large increase in cases of gallstones and kidney stones, conditions often linked to the consumption of poor quality water or hard water.
The World Health Organization -WHO -established back in 1980 that while demineralized water - stripped from all natural minerals such as iron, copper magnesium and calcium - was not appropriate on the long term as it could lead to nutritional deficiency, the levels of magnesium and calcium in water needed to be carefully monitor as to prevent health conditions from developing in consumers -- kidney stones, gallstones, urinary stones, arthrosis and arthropathies --
With water shops at every corner of the capital, most Yemenis rely on such services for their daily consumption, trusting that the water they're drinking underwent the proper treatment. Although Doctor Rajeh said he did not have his patients' drinking water analyzed, he noted all were living in the same neighborhood, and all were suffering from similar ailments -- gallstones and kidney stones --
Both very common and easily treated conditions, "the pain associated to the passing of "stones" is borderline unbearable," said Dr. Rajeh; "and one can only hope one would never have to find out ... What worries me now is that if indeed the water sold is becoming to "hard" for consumption - high levels of calcium and/or magnesium - more people will get sick. It is down to the Health and Sanitation Department. I already filed a report but I don't think anyone will bother reading it."
Unless the city itself decides to crackdown on rogue water traders and ensure that all are following health and sanitation regulations, public health could be at jeopardy and in the long run cost society much more than a few filters.