In developing countries, the microbial contamination of household drinking water is implicated in the prevalence of various diseases. This systematic review is concerned with two health outcomes, general diarrhoea and cholera, and their relationship with water quality at point-of-use. Observational studies investigating this relationship are reviewed, as well as studies of home water treatment and storage interventions. For cholera, a clear relationship was found with contaminated water. Home water treatment and storage interventions were also found to reduce cholera. For general diarrhoea, no clear relationship was found with point-of-use water quality, although interventions did significantly reduce diarrhoeal incidence. Reasons for these apparently contradictory results concerning general diarrhoea are discussed and suggestions for further research offered. The policy implications of the findings are also discussed.

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