Tag Archives: South Africa

Our Round-Up of #Newborn2013 Tweets

Three full days of the Global Newborn Health Conference have passed. Throughout the conference we have tweeted select facts and information from experts who have presented at the conference. You can read our first day tweets at Key Tweets from the Global Newborn Health Conference. Follow the full conversation at #newborn2013 and watch the final day of the livestream at www.newborn2013.com.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Key Tweets From the Global Newborn Health Conference

Today marks the start of the first ever Global Newborn Health Conference. Thus far conference-goers have heard opening remarks from high level executives at the World Health Organization, Save the Children, UNICEF, MCHIP, USAID, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Below are key tweets from the early morning session as well as those of our own.

You can watch the conference from South Africa via livestream at newborn2013.com and follow the conversation at #newborn2013.

Our Tweets from the Morning Session

UN Photo/Fardin Waezi

Team Creates Clean Water Solution for South Africans

James Smith, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Dr. Rebecca Dillingham, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Global Health, with a PureMadi water filter.


In areas where water is often filled with pathogens that are deadly or can cause severe illness it is important to either filter water or, the alternative, have access to clean water. According to our partner WaterAid, 783 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly 11% of the world’s population. (WHO/UNICEF). Because of this women in the developing world spend 40 billion hours collecting water each year.

A University of Virginia team of professors and students has created a simple water filtration system that will clean one to three liters of dirty water each hour, enough for drinking and cooking for an average family.

The solution is called PureMadi, a ceramic water filter that kills pathogens that cause diarrhea, and dehydration, for example. Each PureMadi filter is coated with a trace amount of silver and copper to filter the water. After rigorous testing researchers found that the filter is safe and effective for filtering clean drinking water.

Currently the PureMadi team only works in South Africa, but their longterm goal is to provide PureMadi to a swath of African countries and also open factories where the PureMadi filter can be created. They have already opened a factory in Limpopo province, South Africa.

“Eventually that factory will be capable of producing about 500 to 1,000 filters per month, and our 10-year plan is to build 10 to 12 factories in South Africa and other countries,” James Smith, a U.Va. civil and environmental engineer who co-leads the project with Dr. Rebecca Dillingham, director of U.Va.’s Center for Global Health said. “Each filter can serve a family of five or six for two to five years, so we plan to eventually serve at least 500,000 people per year with new filters.”

Additionally, they make the MadiDrop, which as its name implies, is a ceramic drop that also cleans water, but doesn’t remove sediment from dirty water, but will kill pathogens.

Learn more at puremadi.org.

[Watch] Videos from World Bank President Jim Yong Kim

As you probably know the World Bank Group has a brand-new president, Jim Young Kim, as of July 2012. What you may not know is that the World Bank posts regular videos of Dr. Kim in various places around the world during his first international trip as president like this one from Pretoria, South Africa where Mr. Kim talks about the ingenuity of Mailtronics, a thriving South African business. Or, this one from Cote D’Ivoire where Dr. Kim relays three key lessons he learned from a country fighting to gain economic stability on the heels of emerging from a civil war.

For more, visit the World Bank and watch Mr. Kim’s videos.