Low-cost water purifier wins Canadian $100,000 grant


Published: 4Jun2013

In developing countries, particularly in rural villages and urban slums, people can hardly afford water-purification systems. The consequences are fatal, with infectious diarrhoea causing around 2.2 million deaths every year, most of which are children under the age of five from countries like Kenya and India.

...An answer to this problem could be a low-cost, point-of-use copper device for microbial purification of drinking water. Developed and laboratory-tested by Padma Venkat, a student of the International Masters for Health Leadership (IMHL) at McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management in Montreal, and her team from the Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (I-AIM), Bangalore, it kills water-borne pathogen that cause cholera and diarrhoea. She, along with two other IMHL students, have won a grant of $100,000 (Cdn) from Grand Challenges Canada (GCC).

... Subsequent to encouraging laboratory findings, Venkat, despite several attempts at raising grants within India, was not successful in securing funds for almost three years. However, the research, in-sync with a 21 century approach, is a story of collaboration. Caroline Kisia and Ahmad Firas Khalid are also students of International Masters for Health Leadership (IMHL) programme at McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management.

... Khalid agreed and suggested we ask Leslie Breitner, our IMHL Cycle Director, to mentor us. Breitner has since provided assistance while McGill has lent its name to our collaboration. Subsequently, others joined in; Judith Horrell, who works at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, has been instrumental with the communication and public engagement part of the work, while Satish Chetlapalli, dean of public health at SRM University in Chennai, India, helped with the design of the field study," Venkat adds.

Read full article: The Times of India, Jun 3, 2013