Five billion liters

UNC undergraduates document delivering the 5 billion liters of clean water in Malawi

Recently in Malawi, UNC and Procter & Gamble shared the 5 billionth liter of drinking water cleaned by P&G’s Purifier of Water technology.

The moment was captured by a team of UNC students with Students of the World,  an organization driven by the belief that progress is being made every day across the globe in even the most dire of situations and that these stories need to be told.  With funding from the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases, the students traveled to Malawi to document P&G’s efforts with UNC and other partners in the region.

“. . .had there been a radio, I would have danced to express the happiness that I have.”

Their film tells the story of Lusiya Daniel, a 48 year-old mother of nine who lives in a rural village about an hour’s drive from Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe. When Lusiya enrolled in UNC Project’s HIV prevention program, her youngest children – twins – were nearly two years old.  Sick with shingles, diarrhea and malaria, she went to the clinic, where she was tested for HIV and found out that she and one of the twins was HIV positive. Receiving life-saving anti-AIDS drugs through the UNC clinic has made a huge difference.

But every day Lusiya collects water from a highly contaminated local well for herself and her nine children, and even if drugs are keeping the HIV virus at bay, the water that she and her son drink to wash down the pills could make them sick. Through this program, she receives P&G Packets at each clinic visit.

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Lusiya was the recipient of the 5 billionth liter of clean water. “I’m so happy that I’ve been lucky to receive the 5 billionth clean liter,” Lusiya said, “and had there been a radio I would have danced to express the happiness that I have.”

The UNC-P&G collaboration has reached tens of thousands of families like Lusiya Daniel’s. “This far-reaching collaboration is providing service and research opportunities for our students,” said Myron Cohen, director of the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases at UNC, “and is making a powerful impact on the lives they touch through their work.”

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