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Disinfecting Water Saves Lives in Rwanda

April 25, 2008
WASHINGTON, April 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is pleased to announce the relaunch of Sur'Eau, a safe-water solution that reduces the risk of diarrhea. Sur'Eau is a water purification solution that prevents waterborne diseases. The chlorine solution can be added to water immediately before use and is designed to protect people -- principally young children and people living with HIV and AIDS -- from deadly diarrheal diseases.

Across Rwanda, nearly 40 percent of urban households and over 70 percent of rural households do not have reliably clean water. Contaminated water increases the risk of contracting diarrheal diseases, which contribute to Rwanda's high childhood mortality rate -- one in seven does not live to age five.

With support from the Government of Rwanda and the American people through USAID, Sur'Eau is produced locally and available in the public and private sectors. USAID funds Population Services International (PSI) to implement this safe-water initiative as part of the five-year, $20 million Behavior Change and Social Marketing (BCSM) project. The BCSM project builds the capacity of Rwandan institutions to implement HIV/AIDS prevention, malaria and child survival programs.

"Safe water is essential for improving the lives of Rwandans," explained Ryan Washburn, USAID's acting director in Rwanda. "All you need is one cap of Sur'Eau to treat an entire jerry can of water and you've reduced the risk of diarrheal diseases by 50 percent. Sur'Eau is a cost-effective method for preventing waterborne diseases and saving lives."

Rwanda's Minister of Health, Dr. Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo, and a Global Ambassador for PSI Ashley Judd, will be on hand for the launch in Rubavu District on April 26.

For more information about USAID and its programs in Rwanda, please visit www.usaid.gov.

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.

Public Information: 202-712-4810

Source: U.S. Agency for International Development

CONTACT: Press Office, U.S. Agency for International Development, +1-202-712-4320

Web Site: http://www.usaid.gov/



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