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David Albert - Board Chairman, Friendly Water For the World
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"I NOW CONDUCT MY LIFE LIKE A NORMAL PERSON!"

A combination of malnutrition, lack of health care access, and, above all, lack of access to clean water, means that the camp is full of orphans, while at the same time mortality rates among children under five is extremely high.

In late 2014, Friendly Water for the World Medical Officer Dr. Kambale Musubao traveled to one section of the camp, where he conducted HIV testing. He found 63 families (with a total of 378 children) impacted by HIV. In the year prior to the testing, these families lost 80 children under the age of five from waterborne illnesses. Through a small grant from Friendly Water for the World’s Card Fund ($2,920 to be exact), all 63 families were provided with BioSand Water Filters, as well as basic education in sanitation and hygiene.

 In December, Dr. Kambale returned to conduct an epidemiological survey of the families. He found that, among adults, there was not a single death from waterborne illnesses – not one - and HIV-related deaths were reduced by 70%. Under-five mortality was reduced by 75% (it likely would have been reduced more, except that in the very close quarters of the camp, children visit other children and families who continue to consume contaminated water.) Dysentery and diarrhea among the children went from being a near-universal condition to a rarity. School attendance had radically increased. And among the adults infected with HIV, chronic illness among the 63 was reduced from 51 people to 12. Cholera cases were reduced from 23 cases to 2; typhoid cases from 20 a month to an average of one. Dr. Kambale believes reductions would be even greater if more attention were paid to sanitation and hygiene, and if participants didn’t sometimes pour overly chlorinated water, obtained from other non-government organizations, into the Filters, destroying the bio-layer and reducing Filter efficiency.

 “After the death of my husband from HIV,” said Mwenge, “I had no energy for my daily routine. But now after the use of the BioSand Filter, my health has improved a lot, and I can work. I almost forgot that I am an HIV person”. Mwenge is now selling filtered water to her neighbors (at approximately one-sixteenth the cost of bottled water), and in the past several months, has earned $108.

 Her neighbors Aline and Jean said that before the use of the BioSand Filter, they were in constant fear of death. But today, they have hopes for normal lives, health, and life expectancy. "BioSand Filters are not just helping reduce the spread of disease," notes Dr. Kambale, “but also lift the people’s spirits and gives them hope for a better life.”

 Friendly Water for the World is now expanding the program and the hope is that, during the next year, as part of our Building New Lives Campaign, people with HIV will be trained to fabricate, distribute, install, and maintain BioSand Filters, as well as conduct community sanitation campaigns inside the refugee camp

Make this YOUR story of hope. Join the Building the New Lives Campaign. Also Please share this with your friends.

 

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