On The Ground In Guyana: in the name of Preventative Health

The SE200 Community Chlorine Maker allows an entire town of people to produce their own safe drinking water. This device is truly incredible, only using an electric current, salt, and water to make a pure chlorine concentration in just 5 minutes. According to the World Health Organization, providing safe drinking water is fundamental to global health. They estimate that about one tenth of the global disease burden could be prevented by increasing access to safe drinking water. It was clear that implementing the SE200 devices fell in line with Gloves Go Global’s mission.

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With your help we raised $2,500 for this project. To cut down on costs, Gloves Go Global partnered with Adventist World Aviation, a humanitarian aid organization providing emergency medical air evacuation throughout the world. Adventist World Aviation contributed invaluable contacts from their 10 years of intimately supporting the community, affordable housing, and air transportation to remote communities only accessible by air or boat. MSR contributed 8 SE200 Community Chlorine Makers to be deployed in South America. Director, Hannah Akre and Project Manager, Ethan Klausmeyer, donated their time to carry out this project on the ground in Guyana.

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Region 1 of the country of Guyana was chosen for implementation for 3 primary reasons:

1) There is a seemingly unlimited supply of water in rural regions of this country. In fact, the word Guyana in native Amerindian language translates as “Land of Many Waters.” This is because of its many rivers, creeks and streams that flow through its breadths an accross its lengths.

2) There is enough infrastructure in this country to support a widespread project to purify water. The Guyanese hospitals have extremely rural outposts that are continuously staffed with medical professionals who can operate the devices.

3) There is an immense need for a renewable source of clean water. Guyana and Region 1 specifically is extremely rural and chronically faces shortages of bleach, their method of purifying water.  Institutions such as hospitals and schools are no exception. Guyana is also supporting a growing Venezuelan refugee population. Since 2014, and especially in recent months, more than 2 million people have fled Venezuela - many of them relocating to Guyana. Region 1 borders Venezuela and thus has experienced the greatest influx of Venezuelan refugees. Venezuelan refugees seek the free health care provided in Guyana.

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In the days leading up to our meeting to officially introduce the device, we were able to survey parts of the region. It was evident to us that rural areas were forgoing water purification because bleach shipments were infrequent or non-existent. We spoke with a school teacher that told us she often has to buy her own bleach and a rural outpost physician who said they save the bleach to treat water for the medical professionals and there is rarely enough to share with patients. The SE200 would solve both of these problems allowing these remote locations, dependent on government shipments of bleach, to never again run out of chlorine. This device also breaks the costly bleach supply chains, allowing hospitals and schools to use the money they saved for other health and community projects. Infact, the World Health Organization estimates that investment to improve drinking water makes strong economic sense: every dollar invested leads to up to eight dollars in benefits. Lastly, the SE200 will save hundreds of bottles of bleach from ending up in their beautiful rivers and streams.

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After introducing the device to the Environmental Health Director, we demonstrated how to use the device to a room full of Public Health Officers, Medical Professionals, and Guyana Water Inc workers. They were in awe, especially after wafting the odor from the bubbling water and smelling the chlorine scent. As we shook hands, the energy inside the room was one of mutual respect and hope. After graciously accepting the donated devices, we all vowed to stay in communication thanks to wifi and WhatsApp messing.

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Since this project, the Region 1 of Guyana has conducted their own laboratory tests on water purified by the SE200 to ensure its efficacy. They came back satisfactory and conversations have erupted about the widespread implementation of the device in 2020. They have also remarked that our continued communication is unlike other relations they have formed after having received donations. We pride ourselves on the lasting relationships we form as we continue to put all of our efforts towards preventative health endeavors.

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