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MEMP Alum, Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Co-Authors Science Magazine Paper

Friday, October 10, 2014

 

MEMP ALUM, DR. REBECCA RICHARDS-KORTUM, CO-AUTHORS SCIENCE MAGAZINE PAPER

How to transform the practice of engineering to meet global health needs

More of the world’s population has access to cell phones than to basic sanitation facilities, a gap that can only be closed if the engineering and international aid communities adopt new approaches to design for scarcity and scalability.

Engineers have known how to produce safe drinking water and how to build toilets and roads in developing countries for more than 100 years. Yet, global access to such technologies is far from uniform. Approximately 768 million people do not have access to safe drinking water; 2.5 billion lack basic sanitation, and 1 billion practice open defecation (1). More than 50% of people who have no access to water and sanitation live in middle-income countries (1). Use of these technologies can mean the difference between life and death; diarrheal illness, 90% of which is related to inadequate access to clean water and sanitation, kills more children under 5 than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined (2).

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