Tuesday, September 8, 2009

OU International Water Prize Winner: Steve Luby

I don't go in for the 'hero worship' one bit, but if I did Steve Luby would be a good candidate: he has dedicated his career - at least a great portion of it - to preventing and treating waterborne diarrheal disease. Recognition is long past due, and rah rah for the University of Oklahoma and its Selection Committee for awarding Steve Luby the International Water Prize. Please join them in October (27th - 29th) for the International WaTER Conference and choice prize ceremony if you have the means.

Oklahoma University International Water Prize

Purpose: The purpose of the OU International Water Prize is to recognize and honor an individual who has made significant international contributions, either through research or teaching or service activities, in the field of water supply and sanitation, with a focus on the world's poorest living in small villages/communities in rural or remote regions.

Details: The Prize is a biennial award sponsored by the WaTER Center at the University of Oklahoma and made possible by generous gifts from alumni and friends. The inaugural prize winner will be selected in 2008 and awarded at the 2009 OU WaTER Conference to be held in late October 2009. The winner will receive a $25,000 cash reward with half of the reward going directly to the recipient and half going to the WaTER-related non-profit organization of his/her choice. The winner will also receive replica of the WaTER symbol cast in silver and a bronze plaque. This is one of the first and largest prizes dedicated to the field of water supply and sanitation in remote areas of emerging regions.

Dr. Stephen P. Luby - 2009 OU International Water Prize Winner

Dr. Luby has worked for the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh since 2004. He is head of the Program on Infectious Diseases and Vaccine Sciences and also functions as the head of Agency for the Centers for Disease Control in Bangladesh. He earned a bachelor of arts in philosophy from Creighton University in 1981 and a medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas in 1986. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Rochester-Strong Memorial Hospital. Dr. Luby studied epidemiology and public health in the Epidemic Intelligence Service and the Preventive Medicine Residency of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Luby has authored over 120 scientific articles, the majority concerning communicable disease epidemiology in low-income countries.

Jurors for the 2009 Prize included:

Greg Allgood, Director of Procter & Gamble Pur Program
Michael Campana, Director of the Institute for Water and Watersheds, Oregon State University
Henock Gezahegn, PSI-Ethiopia
Daniele Lantagne, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA
Malcolm Morris, Chairman of Stewart Title Company in Houston, TX and co-founder of Living Water International and the Millennium Water Alliance

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

ONE Rallies for Clean Water at the Field Museum in Chicago

See report below from Matthew Bartlett at the ONE Campaign:

[Don't forget to go to the ONE website and ask your Senator to cosponsor the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009:

http://www.one.org/us/waterfortheworld/ ]

This Monday in Chicago, ONE held a rally at The Field Museum’s Water Exhibit to celebrate the Paul Simon Water for the World Act. The event featured US Senator Richard Durbin, an original cosponsor of the Water for the World Act, and we were joined by many ONE members, local guests and partner organizations.

Before the event started, I caught up with Shayne Moore, a ONE member since inception. Shayne and I talked about the power of “Moms” in the world and the important role that women play both in ONE and in global development. Shayne even told me some of her work with partner groups and how as a mother of three, she felt strongly about supporting the life saving work of the Global Fund.

Sheila Nix, ONE’s executive director, opened up the event by talking about the lack of clean water in many parts of the developing world and just how crucial clean water is to global health issues. She went on to highlight the importance of the Water for the World Act and the potential it has to help usher in clean water to millions of lives around the world. Sheila also highlighted the prominent role that many of ONE’s partner groups play both on the ground in Africa, and in advocacy here in the US. Before she introduced Senator Durbin, she highlighted his efforts on the Water for the World Act, and his greater role in many other essential programs and for being one of the earliest and strongest backers of the Global Fund.

Senator Durbin then spoke about how ONE’s petition around Water for All put a growing bi-partisan force behind the legislation, saying that when it was first introduced, only a few other senators had signed on, but after ONE members across the country weighed in, alongside many other individuals and organizations, the list of co-sponsors is growing and Senator Durbin even noted Senator Isakson’s support from across the political aisle. Senator Durbin even singled out Water Advocates and noted Matt Damon’s special taped message to ONE members.

After the event, we took a quick tour of the water exhibit and after a few ONE members and guests were able to speak with Senator Durbin and thank him for his participation in the event, and for his actions in the Congress to help bring clean water to the world’s poorest people. I even had the chance to thank him for the chance meeting back in New Hampshire when I spotted him in a ONE shirt.

No matter where you live, clean water is one of the most crucial tenants to a healthy life. And no matter where you live in the US, your voice can help bring clean water to millions around the world when you take action with ONE.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Water and Sanitation Program / Handwashing Help

From a friend at the Water and Sanitation Program in Washington DC:

I am currently working on WSP's scaling up of hand-washing-with-soap project. As part of this effort, we are compiling a list of "enabling technologies" that facilitate handwashing-with-soap.

Of course, tippy taps are the most common and well known but other technologies like soap dishes, soap nets, handwashing stations, cue cards, etc. also fit into this broad category of "enabling technologies." We suspect a large part of this research effort will involve documenting a wide range of tippy tap options. BUT we do not want to get stuck on tippy taps, and we hope to discover outside-the-box ideas and devices that people have seen in the field.

Do you have any experiences or have you seen anything that fits into this effort? If you have a photo, description, write-up, anything, that will be extremely helpful.Also, if you know of other folks that have experiences to share, please pass along my inquiry.

If you are aware of ideas, handwashing approaches/technologies that they need to be aware of, please reach out directly to Ian Moise at the Water and Sanitation Program:

Ian Moise
WSP - Scaling Up Programs
Hand Washing and Sanitation

imoise (at) worldbank.org

USAID Hiring Water and Sanitation / Diarrhea Expert

I have received this note through various channels from USAID in Washington DC – a very interesting senior watsan position at USAID on its Environmental Health Team. Note the focus on ‘diarrheal disease and associated mortality’.

Public Health Advisor – Environmental Health
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

The USAID Bureau for Global Health, Maternal and Child Health Division (MCH), based at USAID headquarters in Washington DC, is seeking a Public Health Advisor to provide leadership in its environmental health activities. The major activities of the MCH environmental health team are focused on reduction of diarrheal disease and associated mortality for vulnerable populations in developing countries, especially children under 5, through improvements in drinking water quality and availability, sanitation, and hygiene. Other areas of activity vary over time, but may include improvement in indoor air quality, reduction of health vulnerabilities from climate change, and other topics related to health impacts from environmental degradation.

The successful candidate will participate in and provide leadership to the development of USAID environmental health strategies, plans, program guidance, and dissemination of results. S/he will provide specialized expertise to USAID Missions and host-country governments on new developments and the most effective approaches to environmental health problems in a region or country. S/he will be responsible for communicating such strategies and program results to diverse audiences within and outside USAID, including the U.S. Congress, external partners, and senior USAID and U.S. government staff.

This is a senior position requiring effective program management and communications skills. For further details on qualifications and to apply for this position, please see http://www.avuecentral.com/vacancy.html?ref=NRKVN.

Note that U.S. citizenship is required. Application deadline is 9/9/2009.