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Stories from the Field

Africa

Using Solar Energy to Treat Waste in Kenya

A woman collecting water from a river in KenyaWorldwide, there are approximately 25 million refugees, internally displaced people, and people affected by emergencies. Refugee camps are often very crowded, making it essential—but difficult—to provide adequate infrastructure for safe drinking water and sanitation. Water- and hygiene-related diseases, including cholera and dysentery, are some of the primary causes of illness and death in these settings, especially among young children.

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CDC Partners Use Basket of Goods Approach in Kenya

A woman collecting water from a river in KenyaPATH's Safe Water Project recently launched its first pilot activity in Kenya to explore the potential for offering a ceramic water purifier (CWP) in a sales model designed for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs). The basket-of-goods (BOG) model is a promising business model found in several African countries. The Safe Water and AIDS Project (SWAP) in Kenya uses the model to ensure that households in remote areas have access to low-cost, high-impact health products such as sanitary pads, soap, condoms, and water treatment solutions.

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Typhoid Fever Targets Children from Kenyan Urban Slums

Boy standing in a slum in KenyaAbout 200,000 people live in Kibera, a slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, and the largest informal settlement in East Africa. With an estimated one-pit latrine for every 200 people, residents use plastic bags for relief and then dispose of them anywhere. This practice, known as ‘flying toilets’, is more common at night among women and children concerned about the area’s lack of security. Without sanitation facilities to contain and dispose of human feces, those living nearby are at risk for enteric diseases (those that cause diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting), such as typhoid fever.

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Defeating Diarrhea: CDC and Partners Tackle Causes and Consequences in Kenya and Beyond

group of people standing together in Kenya"What if we lost 50 city buses full of children today?" asks Michael Beach, the associate director for healthy water in CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. "That’s 2,195 children—the number who die daily of diarrhea around the world. That’s more than die from AIDS, malaria, and measles combined."

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Safe water school interventions in Kenya save lives

Image of Two members of the safe water club at Sino SDA Primary School in Nyanza Province in rural Kenya treating the school drinking water with WaterGuard.Over 1.1 billion people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water. Nearly two million children die each year due to diarrhea and other infectious diseases resulting from unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene. To prevent these deaths, CDC and its partners developed the Safe Water System.

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Safe water and HIV: Evidence-based integration

Image of Jemima, a Kenyan Woman Living With HIVOver 1.1 billion people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water. Nearly two million children die each year due to diarrhea and other infectious diseases resulting from unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene. To prevent these deaths, CDC and its partners developed the Safe Water System.

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Christian Health Association of Kenya Collaborates with CDC in Safe Water

Handwashing station with plastic bucket containing a tap, metal stand, basin for catching water and soap.Limited access to safe water in Nyanza and Western Provinces, Kenya is a major problem. Diarrhea rates in these regions are among the highest in Kenya. An inexpensive safe water system can reduce the risk of diarrhea from 25–85%.

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Haiti

Basic public health actions rapidly mobilized to lessen impact of cholera in earthquake-devastated Haiti

Image of Haitian women with water bucketWhen the January 2010 earthquake struck Haiti, the first priorities of Haitian public health officials and their partners, including CDC and USAID, were improving access to clean water and sanitation and promoting basic hygiene to protect Haitians from threats they faced living in crowded, temporary camps.

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Training teaches Haitian health care workers: "No one need die from diarrheal disease"

Image of Haitian Health Care Workers in RoomWhen a cholera outbreak occurs in resource-limited countries like Haiti, where sanitary conditions are poor and safe water systems do not exist, public health officials must act quickly. A first request of CDC and partners was to help educate health care workers to manage cholera and teach Haitians how to prevent it.

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Worldwide

Delivering Health by the Drop

A young girl drinks safe water from a SWS storage vessel in her home.In the world today, close to 1 billion people still drink water collected directly from streams, lakes and shallow hand-dug wells, while hundreds of millions more drink contaminated water from unsafe municipal systems or borehole wells.

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Life–saving collaborations: USAID and CDC

Image of Haitian Health Care Workers in RoomIn global health work, it is important to find legacies that stand the test of time and scrutiny. CDC and USAID's collaboration to address critical global health issues is one that provides both agencies the opportunity to build such a legacy.

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Lack of soap means illness, death for millions of children

An Ivorian child washes her hands on the first Global Handwashing Day, which took place in 2008.It still makes Fatoma Dia's eyes widen whenever the Hilton hotel cleaning worker sees a bar of barely used soap on a bathroom counter. "This," she says, picking it up with a gloved hand and dropping it in a brown bucket, "is valuable where I come from." The 35-year-old grew up in a mountainous region of southern Sudan where soap can cost more than a day's wages. CNN Heroes reports on the CDC-WHO collaboration that has led to facilitating better sanitation in needy regions and teaching people the importance of basic hand washing.

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