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Sanitation pioneer praised by African governments for life-saving work over 3 decades
Date:7/22/2011

Professor Sandy Cairncross has received a unique honour from the governments of Africa in recognition of his major contribution to improving the health and well-being of Africans through his three decades of work to improve sanitation and hygiene across the continent. He was awarded the Roll of Honour Award for lifetime service in Kigali, Rwanda, at a ceremony hosted by Rwanda's President Paul Kagame.

The commendation reflects his tireless efforts to saving lives in some of the world's poorest countries. His greatest achievements include his pioneering work on the health impacts of poor sanitation and hygiene, his instrumental role in the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme, and designing a revolutionary latrine slab in Mozambique.

Cairncross, Professor of Environmental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, was handed the award on 20 July during AfricaSan the continent's foremost conference on sanitation and hygiene. The decision to grant the commendation to Cairncross was made by members of the African Ministerial Council on Water. The award comes just a month after Cairncross received an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for saving countless lives in the developing world.

Cairncross' passion for Africa emerged in the mid-1970s when he worked on water supplies in Lesotho, Southern Africa. He has carried out research and environmental health projects across Africa, Asia and Latin America, including seven years as a water and sanitation engineer for the Government of Mozambique. While working in Mozambique he helped design and market a hygienic and easy-to-use revolutionary and lightweight pit latrine slab, with over 300,000 slabs being sold subsequently.

He later worked in West Africa to support programmes to eradicate Guinea Worm disease a parasitic infection spread by contaminated drinking water. Cairncross played a critical role in the fight to eradicate this debilitating disease from more than 3.5 million ca
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Contact: Paula Fentiman
paula.fentiman@lshtm.ac.uk
44-020-792-72802
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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