Lab Matters Summer 2023 | Page 19

Achieving health equity requires eliminating barriers to participation for population groups and expanding accessibility of public health services to reach socio-culturally diverse communities .
reported . NWSS develops and sustains new and existing partnerships with wastewater utilities and state , tribal , local and territorial health agencies . The public health benefits of partner engagement help local health agencies identify outbreak trends early and direct interventions to areas with the most need .
NWSS or a similar system can be used for health equity purposes . There are a few things to consider when using wastewater surveillance . Wastewater surveillance aims to preserve anonymity , but with growing interest in using wastewater surveillance at the facility and neighborhood level , individual anonymity could be compromised in an outbreak due to a small sample size , possibly leading to generating identifiable data . In addition , population groups identified in infectious disease outbreaks may be stigmatized , as seen with mpox and HIV . Some communities are served by decentralized waste systems like septic systems and latrines that receive waste from small or undefined populations ; these populations cannot be representatively sampled . Other populations are served by low-resource waste systems that are ineffective centralized systems with substantial decaying infrastructure or wastewater-impacted environmental waters . Compounding inequities often mean that people in these communities are at a higher risk of infection . A lack of infrastructure may put them out of NWSS ’ reach , but CDC and NWSS partners will be looking to address this barrier . g
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