GE Announces Expansion of Water Scarcity Relief Efforts in Africa
GE Water Scarcity Solutions Creating Critical Supplies of Fresh Water
GE Water & Process Technologies, a unit of General Electric Co., joined its parent company in announcing the expansion of its five-year, $20 million African infrastructure and healthcare initiative. GE Water & Process Technologies is aiding the expanded effort by providing desperately needed water scarcity solutions to two hospitals located in Kumasi and Kintampo, Ghana.
“Each year more than five million people die from waterborne diseases, and in Ghana close to 70% of all illness is caused by waterborne contaminants,” said George Oliver, CEO of GE Water & Process Technologies. “By installing our water scarcity solutions, patients in Kumasi and Kintampo now have access to safe, clean water – a resource essential to all healthcare environments.”
Both Kumasi’s Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and the Kintampo District Hospital were in dire need of new infrastructure and technology crucial in providing lifesaving healthcare efforts. GE Water & Process Technologies is helping to improve on those infrastructure challenges by expanding the hospitals access to healthy sources of water.
In Kumasi, GE installed several water scarcity solutions to assist KATH, the region’s main referral center, in serving half of the 20 million people in Ghana and neighboring Burkina Faso and the Cote d’Ivoire. The new equipment includes reverse osmosis (RO) filtration technology, which serves two purposes at the facility. GE’s RO solution removes impurities from KATH’s current water supply and also creates an ultra-pure water source – a critical element in running five of the hospital’s life-saving Dialysis machines. The KATH site also received a new water holding tank, which can stockpile excess water in a safe, healthy environment, new water holding tank indicators, which allow the hospital to keep abreast of current water supply levels and anti-stagnation water treatment technology, which mixes and recycles old and current water supplies, so that water stagnation and the growth of dangerous and disease-causing waterborne organisms are prevented. In addition to GE’s water scarcity solutions, the company also made donations to KATH including a fluoroscopy unit for radiology, ultrasounds, incubators, monitors, lighting, electrical distribution equipment and Internet connectivity.
“The GE donations have come at an opportune time to complement these interventions and boost the capacity of the hospital to render better services to its numerous patients,” said KATH chief executive Dr. Nsiah-Asare.
At the Kintampo District Hospital, malaria is still a number one killer. Water stagnation and growth of waterborne disease is one of the area’s major concerns. To help address the issue, GE installed an anti-stagnation water treatment system, an RO filtration unit, a new water holding tank and new water holding tank indicators. The hospital, which serves a population of 160,000, also received ultrasounds, X-rays, anesthesia, incubators, power generation equipment and lighting that will enable the rural hospital to help reduce disease and lower maternal and infant mortality.
Officially launched last year, GE’s African healthcare initiative donated the equipment to the U.S.-based not-for-profit, Assist International, which in turn donated the equipment to the Ghana Health Services. Assist International and GECAD, a local distributor for GE, provide shipping logistics, ground-level support, site preparation and on-site coordination to ensure timely, cost-effective and quality construction, as well as sustainable operation of the facilities and equipment.