The latest is an Israeli invention that’s offering clean water in cholera-stricken Cameroon.
One of the biggest cholera outbreaks in history took place in Victorian England in 1854, killing nearly 100,000 people. Steven Johnson’s bestselling book, “The Ghost Map,” tells the tale of a maverick British physician who – for the first time – figured out that it was the polluted drinking water that was making everybody sick. His findings inspired fundamental changes in the water and waste systems of London, which led to similar changes in other cities and a significant improvement in general public health around the world. For his work, he was called the father of epidemiology.
But even more than a century later, there are still parts of the world that don’t have access to clean drinking water – whether it’s in Western Pennsylvania where some communities have seen their wells contaminated with fracking fluid or in poor countries where waste management systems are not up to the modern standard. One such area is the nation of Cameroon, which has experienced a cholera outbreak this summer.
Humanitarian aid organizations from across the globe have rushed to the scene to help, offering medical expertise and other support. One such group is an Israeli company called NUFiltration, which has created a device that turns contaminated rivers into purified drinking water. The trick was actually not inventing a new device at all, but simply finding a new purpose for an existing piece of medical equipment.
With the insight of a doctor at the Tel Aviv University medical school, the team discovered the magic of dialysis filters. The disposable product can be found at just about any hospital. These simple items could be used to purify water. The filters remove bacteria from polluted water sources, thus preventing cholera. The filters do not require electricity, are portable and can be used for up to three years. The United Nations has tested the filter and has authorized its use in refugee camps in the Congo and Mali.
In recent years, the Caesarea-based NUFiltration has also brought its system to the Ghanan island community of Pediatorkorpe. The villagers had been suffering kidney failures due to the polluted water. “There is a before and there is an after,” explained Professor Nathan Levin, one of the most well-known nephrologists in the world. “Before, there is infection. There is dehydration, in spite of all effort. And after, all this disappeared.”
“As soon as you start to pump the water from the river, immediately you get clean water to drink and that was like a miracle for the people,” said Omri Cohen, a technical manager at NUF, who was involved in the Ghana mission. “The reaction was truly amazing.”
NUFiltration is just the latest in a string of Israeli companies that have assisted in bringing clean water to much-needed areas across the globe. An Israeli startup called Water-Gen helped out last year after Hurricane Maria pummeled the island of Puerto Rico. Their machine actually creates clean water out of thin air. It works like a home humidifier, but instead captures and cleans the moisture. A Florida town is also using the device to help better prepare for disaster relief after future hurricanes.
Israel is once again in the forefront of enabling countries and communities, who have extremely limited or no access to clean drinking water, to produce the means to create clean drinking water.
A prime example of the creative technology used to help combat disease through producing clean drinking water from existing impure water bodies or even from thin air is Israeli experience in Africa and many other countries.
Join us at WATEC Italy 2018 to learn from the source all about the Israeli innovations in cleaning the water. Together with experienced Israeli conference organizer Kenes Exhibitions you can take a step in the right direction to ensure that every living being has access to one of our greatest necessities – Clean Drinking Water!
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