Dr. Jeff Deal, WMI’s Director of Health Studies, is currently on the ground in Liberia teaching health care workers how to use a germ-fighting robot (TRU-D Smart UVCTM) that disinfects hospitals. These are excerpts from his correspondence with us. While on the ground, he has learned of the need for safe water, especially amongst the quarantined areas. Read about our response as we mobilize to help here.

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8.27.14

Deal Selfie

Dr. Deal snapped this selfie after suiting up.

That’s me using the TRU-D in the Ebola Treatment Unit of Elwa. The staff there are going great with it. It is a VERY well run unit with caring staff that work hard. I was able to get photos because I took in an underwater camera that I could drop in a bucket of chlorine on the way out.

I pretty much reached my physical limits today. By the time I went through the 20+ minute decontamination procedure I was getting a little dizzy. Fortunately, the ETU at JFK had a delay and I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to make contacts for the Water Missions International staff as they prepare to send in badly needed water systems.
Lots of people dying, but lots of people surviving because of the staff. After we suit up and before we go in, the staff form a circle and pray for protection and God’s blessing on their work. I think He’s listening. I know I am.

Jeff

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08.26.14

Selfie

Dr. Deal (right) snapped this selfie with a hospital staff member.

Frankly, I am very tired. I have decided that I can only do a single shift in the Ebola Treatment Units per day. The suits are hot and it is so hard to breath that I was dragging a bit at the end of my shift at ELWA ETU and struggled a little for a shift at JFK’s ETU. I don’t think I will try that again. Just too old and soft, I think.

The staff at ELWA are doing great, and we’ve got a good plan for the TRU-D. I trained the second and third shift so they know the process about as well as me. The doctor, Dr. Park, is very much on-board. All of them appreciate the donation of the TRU-D as the number of healthcare workers who have succumbed to the disease continues to rise. I fear that this epidemic is completely out of control.

This entire country has become instant germophobes. No one shakes hands. You have to wash your hands in bleach water before entering any building and in most you also have your temperature taken. I think Liberia is now the most hygienic place on earth.
The people here are kind and gracious (I could not resist the selfie with one staff member). They are putting up a valiant fight against this epidemic with very limited resources.

Jeff

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08.23.2014

Hazmats in Liberia

Jeff (left) working with other doctors in the Ebola Treatment Unit at ELWA in Liberia.

Great day in Liberia. Both units are now operating perfectly. I spent the afternoon in all the gear (that is me, the tall guy on the left) working in the Ebola Treatment Unit in ELWA. This is the same facility in which the Samaritan’s Purse doctor who ended up at Emory was working when he contracted the disease. The staff is great, and we’ve worked out most of the protocols for the TRU-D’s use. I am not worried as the staff watch me like a hawk to make sure I follow all of the decontamination procedures and frankly, we now have the TRU-D working for us as well. The suits are quite hot and after a few hours, I was beat.

I watched a Liberian nurse in full hazmat gear coaxing a two-year-old patient into drinking rehydration salt solutions while her mom lay on a mattress on the floor beside her very ill. She stayed there on her knees with the child until he had drunk the whole cup. I was decontaminating the next room with the TRU-D while she was with the child.

I saw a 12-year-old boy in the Confirmed Cases Ward washing plastic mattress covers. He had recovered and just wanted to work until he was released.

A beautiful nurse walked up and smiled at me. My first thought was “Why is she not in her protective gear?!!!!” But they said she had recovered and was waiting for release. She looked full of joy.

Protected in Liberia by God, my family and friends who pray for me, my hazmat suit that David Deal helped me pick out, and the TRU-D.

All Well.
Jeff Continue Reading…

Water Missions International is continually amazed by the talented, passionate people and organizations who work alongside us in the fight against the global water crisis. We’re especially honored to have the support of award-winning portrait artist Robert Maniscalco.

The artist, based in West Ashley, S.C., recently launch a Kickstarter campaign for his work with Water Missions International. Manisalco plans to take a trip to Haiti where he will accompany Water Missions International staff in their work to bring safe water to those in need. His Kickstarter campaign will fund his travel and other expenses.

Christelle

Robert Maniscalco’s “Christelle” is part of Water Missions International’s permanent collection.

While in Haiti, he will document and interview Haitians he meets in communities where Water Missions International works. His goal is to turn his time in Haiti into reference material for 10 to 15 paintings that would be part of a traveling exhibit: “The Quench Project”. Maniscalco hopes that this special exhibit will be a call to action for the increasing need and awareness for Water Missions International.

“My purpose while there is to come away with as full a sense of the experience of the Haitian people and the plight of all people struggling with access to this basic human necessity, this basic human right, and express/respond to that authentically on canvas and in the written word,” Manisalco explains on his Kickstarter page.

Once the work is finished, the exhibit will launch at Water Missions International’s headquarters in Charleston, S.C. For more on Maniscalco’s project, visit his Kickstarter page at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1258824272/the-quench-project-in-haiti-paintings-of-hope-and

Dr. Jeffery Deal, Director of Health Impact Studies at Water Missions International, departed today from Charleston, S.C. en route to the Republic of Liberia in response to a request from the office of the President of Liberia for assistance in fighting the deadly Ebola virus. Dr. Deal invented a device called TRU-D Smart UVC™ that delivers a lethal dose of UV-C light to disinfect health care environments. When he arrives in Liberia he will assemble two of these devices and instruct health care workers at JRK Hospital and ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Republic of Liberia on how to use them. The CDC stresses that diligent environmental disinfection and safe handling of potentially contaminated materials is paramount in settings where patients with the Ebola virus have been.

Ebola Relief

Dr. Jeffery Deal with his TRU-D Smart UVC™ device

“We developed TRU-D SmartUVC™ technology to combat the devastating effects of hospital acquired infections,” Dr. Deal said. “Unlike many diseases, Ebola strikes hospital workers more than any other group, making it the ultimate hospital acquired infection.”

Dr. Deal will spend approximately two weeks in Liberia working with hospital staff to operate the devices and ensure that they are successfully disinfecting the hospital rooms. The devices will then remain in the area to be deployed as needed in the Republic of Liberia.

The TRU-D SmartUVC™ technology is turned on using a remote control. Once activated, it delivers a lethal dose of UV-C light from a central location in the room. The UV light energy modifies the DNA structure of viral pathogens, like Ebola, so that they cannot reproduce.

“The beauty of the TRU-D SmartUVC™ is that it is such a sophisticated device that can calculate variables associated with any room,” said Dr. Deal, “but it is also incredible easy to use and even talks the user through the activation steps to ensure that there is no room for error.”

We ask for your prayers for Dr. Deal while he is in Liberia, as well as for those affected by the outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa.

In June, Water Missions International responded to an emergency aid request in Uganda. Cholera had broken out in the fishing community of Mulwanda on the shores of Lake Victoria. After two people died and more than 100 people caught the deadly disease, local government leaders reached out to Water Missions International asking for help.

Staff from our Uganda country program office quickly mobilized a response, installing a Living Water™ Treatment System that filtered and treated the water of Lake Victoria, rendering it safe to drink for all 2,500 people in the community. Immediately, cases of cholera stopped appearing.

Children Collect Safe Water

Children in Mulwanda, Uganda, collect safe water from their disaster response system.

Now cholera has been eradicated from Mulwanda! The people there cannot begin to express their joy and happiness over the difference that safe water has made in their lives.

Now that the disaster has abated, our staff has assessed the community’s long-term needs and are currently putting together a budget and a plan for a safe water solution that will prove safe water for decades to come.

Our goal is to ensure that the people of Mulwanda never have to fear waterborne diseases like cholera again. As we continue to work with this community, we’ll update you on the status of their safe water project.

1. 40% of the World Lacks a Toilet

Roughly 2.65 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation facilities. That’s one in three people who don’t have a toilet.

Mexico Sanitation

This makeshift latrine in Mexico is a far cry from adequate sanitation.

2. Toilets Promote Gender Equality

In many places around the world, girls drop out of school when they hit puberty, simply because of the bathrooms. Without a toilet and washing facility that’s private, safe, or available, girls avoid going to school because of menstrual health and lack of adequate facilities. Access to adequate sanitation empowers girls to attend school and take advantage of the opportunities education brings. Continue Reading…

“If I would take the time to explain my happiness, I would never finish because my joy comes from the heavens. God sent you to give me this latrine. For me, it is grace.” – Hargueritte, Haiti

Experiement.com Campaign

For many in developing nations, a toilet is an unaffordable luxury. Adequate sanitation, like safe water, is crucial for proper hygiene and stopping water-related illness. Most of all, it’s a basic human right that gives dignity and privacy. Currently, an estimated 2.5 billion people lack access to a proper toilet. That’s one in three people who don’t have a clean, private place to go to the bathroom. For these people, a toilet is a symbol of better health, higher income, education, and improved hygiene. Continue Reading…

At Water Missions International, our aim is to be a best in class Christian engineering ministry that transforms lives through sustainable safe water solutions. We understand the importance in clean, safe water, which is why we’ve put in place the best possible practices to filter and treat the water in the communities we’ve worked with. A clear glass of water can be deceptive, which is why we always test for the dangerous contaminants the human eye cannot see.

Collecting Water Samples

Our founder George Greene III collects a raw water sample for testing.

Continue Reading…

At the beginning of each safe water project, the community elects a safe water committee. This committee manages each safe water solution, from upkeep to finances. Our in-country staff work with them throughout the construction phase of the project, teaching them about financial sustainability, record keeping, and responsible management.

By the time a solution is commissioned, the safe water committee has established its own guiding constitution, financial plan, and a clear and transparent process for setting water fees. When the committee is ready to take on their new responsibilities, our staff hand over management of the safe water solution, continuing to support the safe water committee with follow up visits and support for at least the next year. Support can range from everything from mechanical repairs to safe water promotion or even crisis mediation.

Safe Water In Bugoto

Thanks to the management of the safe water committee, the children of Bugoto, Uganda will grow up with safe water access.

In the case of the safe water solution in Bugoto, Uganda, our staff needed to do the latter. One year after their safe water solution was commissioned and officially handed over to the safe water committee, trouble was brewing. This fishing community had embraced their new safe water. “Those of us who are using safe water are happy and moving forward in life,” one community member smiled when asked about the solution. “We are doing well and looking healthy.” Continue Reading…

Safe water has the capacity to bring enormous economic change to communities. It can free people from the costly expense of medical treatments for waterborne illness. Often, we work with communities who’ve been spending their hard-earned money on costly bottled water. They know that the water coming out of their wells is unsafe, but they cannot afford to use bottled water for all of their daily needs. Without affordable safe water, they have no way to truly break free of the cycle of illness perpetuated by unsafe water.

Financial Sustainability Meeting

The safe water committee is responsible for maintaining the project’s financial sustainability.

On Rote Island, Indonesia, Water Missions International safe water solutions are making safe water affordable at last. In the early stages of every water project, a community agrees on an affordable price for safe water that everyone will pay. The funds go into a savings account for long-term maintenance of the safe water solution. Now, in communities like Loundalusi, safe water is available at a reasonable price. Continue Reading…

A month ago I traveled to Honduras to capture the stories of various communities. We visited five projects: spending time with the staff, meeting people, and staying the night in one of the rural communities. The joy and gratitude of the people were inspirational as they showed a lot of pride in their water projects and shared the impact in their families’ lives.

Safe Water Solution

A Safe Water Operator with her community’s safe water solution

Many communities in Honduras have taps to their homes, faucets where they can get water. But when you follow the faucet to its source, the water comes straight from the river, never going through any kind of treatment. While often clear, it’s very contaminated. Continue Reading…