Navigation Links
UNC faculty and students to develop plan to get clean water in poorer homes
Date:10/5/2007

CHAPEL HILL Faculty and students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are setting out to discover whether applying business principles to public health problems can result in solutions that will save lives in developing countries with limited access to safe drinking water.

The Carolina Global Water Partnership has been established to bring together experts from UNCs School of Public Health, Kenan-Flagler Business School and Kenan Institute-Asia. They will focus on increasing the availability and usage of water treatment technologies that can be used in homes in the developing world that do not have clean running water. The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 2 million children die each year from diarrhea and related illnesses caused by unsafe drinking water and inadequate hygiene and sanitation.

The partnership is the second Gillings Innovation Laboratory interdisciplinary research groups funded initially through a gift to the School of Public Health from Dennis and Joan Gillings. The idea for this innovation lab was proposed by students. Leading faculty researchers and postdoctoral fellows, along with select outside experts, will work with students on the project.

Were really excited about the opportunity to work with faculty and students at Kenan- Flagler to find business models that will increase coverage and sustained use of water filters and other household water treatment technologies, said Mark Sobsey, Kenan Professor of environmental sciences and engineering in the School of Public Health.

We know that biosand and ceramic filters and other household water treatment technologies make an enormous difference in the health of people who dont have access to clean drinking water, Sobsey said. We have the technologies, but now its a matter of finding ways to get these technologies into communities and households, and have people adopt and use them effectively and sustainably. This project has the potential to save many millions of lives, Sobsey said.

Micro-financing and micro-franchising may prove key to getting these life-saving technologies into homes that need them, said Lisa Jones-Christensen, Kenan-Flagler assistant professor of entrepreneurship.

One way we hope to enable these technologies to reach scale is to provide small loans to people who wouldnt qualify for conventional loans, and help them franchise small businesses. Weve found that giving the filters or other technologies away is not sustainable and doesnt really promote the continued use of the technology. We believe we can find models that will be successful in getting point-of-use (home) water purification products into the homes of people who need them, Jones-Christensen said.

Phase I of the project will explore several different business models, including whether microfinance institutions can make it easier for poor consumers to purchase point-of-use water filters and other treatment technologies and whether microfinancing, or microfranchising, can successfully provide seed capital for local entrepreneurs to produce, market and distribute the filters. During this phase, researchers will also look at ways to reduce costs through improved design, production and distribution models.

If Phase I shows promise, subsequent phases will identify in-country partners and pilot implementation of the business plan.

The initial geographic focus of the project will be the Mekong Subregion of Asia, where the Kenan Institute Asia has worked for more than a decade.

The Partnership is about finding private-sector solutions to public health problems, said project director Tom Outlaw, a second-year MBA for Executives student at Kenan-Flagler. Being able to collaborate with world-class faculty from multiple disciplines is why I came to Carolina. And as a student, Im grateful to the Gillings family for supporting such an innovative approach to solving issues of global importance.

Christine Stauber, a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Public Healths department of environmental sciences and engineering, has studied the use of water filters in homes in the Dominican Republic, and has seen impressive improvements in the health of families that use them. She looks forward to working with business school students and faculty to find ways to expand the use of filters and other technologies.

This is a great opportunity to help people get access to these treatment technologies and begin to expand the level of coverage by thinking about new and different ways to finance them, she said. The biosand filter is one technology that will benefit from microfinance and microfranchising.


'/>"/>
Contact: Clinton Colmenares
clinton_colmenares@unc.edu
919-843-1991
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. India To Set Up A Faculty In Namibia
2. Shortage Of Faculty Members At AIIMS
3. Medical Faculty On Leave; JNU, IIT Students Join Hunger Strike
4. NBE to conduct test for medical students from abroad
5. Exposure to Pesticides in Schools Produces Illnesses Among Employees, Students
6. Pharma Companies May Influence The Decisions Of Medical Students
7. Students Involved In Bullying And Victims Were Equally Stressed
8. A Comparative Study On Dietary Habits In Middle School Students And Increase In Weight
9. Students wants to extent Tution waiver in Ontario
10. Disadvantaged Students May Not Go In For College Education
11. Students Die after a Fatal Crash
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Vighter established its NAEMT Authorized ... providing Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) course scholarships to four medics assigned to ... developed in cooperation with the American College of Surgeons to promote critical thinking ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... The Radiology Business Management Association ... The annual awards, now in their 12th year, are among the most prestigious in ... In 2016, the awards were retooled to recognize achievements in both large budget (over ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Lake Orion, MI (PRWEB) , ... March 24, ... ... providing insurance assistance, financial planning, and related services to families and business owners ... charity initiative aimed at feeding regional families struggling with financial difficulties. , The ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Northridge dentists, ... treatments for sleep apnea and TMJ at their office. TMJ, or temporomandibular joint ... the obstructive type, is increasingly being treated at dental offices with newly developed ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... Gastro Health (“GH”) ( http://www.gastrohealth.com ... for colonoscopy at the HyGIeaCare® Center that is to be located adjacent to ... , The HyGIeaCare® Prep, cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , March 23, 2017  Eli Lilly ... William Sansum Diabetes Center have established a research collaboration ... diabetes through enhanced research, education and care. ... bears a disproportionate weight on Latino families in ... Kerr , M.D., FRCPE, director of Innovation and Research ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Summary Global ... guide Primary Hyperoxaluria - Pipeline Review, H1 2017, ... Urinary System And Sex Hormones) pipeline landscape. ... recurrent kidney and bladder stones. It results from ... include blood in the urine, pain when urinating, ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... March 23, 2017  Digital Pharmacist Inc. ( ... a rapidly growing digital health company, announced today ... that allows patients to manage their prescriptions. Over ... as Denver Health Pharmacy, USave Pharmacy and Owen,s ... Digital Pharmacist accelerate its product development schedule, the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: