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News & Updates

Get up to date with the latest information about our current projects and initiatives. View news articles spotlighting the importance of employing community-oriented, sustainable strategies to eliminate preventable deaths from diarrheal diseases around the world.

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News: Winchester Thurston School

THE ORAL REHYDRATION THERAPY TUBE

Students: Jacob Dubner ’17 and Jack Waters ‘17

Class: Research Science

What it does: The ORTube is a 3D-printed tool designed to help people accurately, easily, and inexpensively prepare and administer oral rehydration solution—consisting of salt, sugar, and clean water—in combination with a one-liter soda bottle.

Press Release: Winchester Thurston School

WT ALUMNI HELP UGANDANS SUFFERING FROM CHOLERA

This past summer, Jacob Dubner '17 and Jack Waters '17 had the opportunity to implement their WT Research Science project in Uganda with the help of Omni Med, a non-profit that trains Village Health Teams to bring preventative health measures to local villagers, and MakerGear 3D printing.

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Press Release: Trib Live

Winchester Thurston grads test science project in Uganda to combat dehydration

Two college students from Pittsburgh want to use a 3D-printed tube to help save lives.

Their invention is meant to help combat diarrhea caused by disease that can leave children dangerously dehydrated.

Press Release: Design to Make a Difference

High School Students Solving Third World Problems with 3D Printing

Students at Winchester Thurston School, in Pittsburgh, PA have the opportunity to learn engineering and design skills and are turned loose with only one requirement: they must develop a product that helps people. This unique mix of pedagogical practices, fusing product development and altruism, often results in an extraordinary process of thoughtful problem-finding and creative problem-solving.

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MakerGear

Press Release: MakerGear

SOLVING THIRD-WORLD PROBLEMS WITH MAKERGEAR PRINTERS

Three years ago, two seniors at Winchester Thurston School in Pittsburgh wanted to solve a major problem halfway around the world. With the support of their school and the use of a MakerGear 3D printer, they are doing just that.

Press Release: Pittsburgh Parent

Students design products that make a difference

In 2016, two students from Mr. Marx’s class, Jack Waters and Jacob Dubner, created an ORTube, a simple plastic tube that correctly measures salt and sugar concentrations used in Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) that fight cholera and other diarrheal diseases in developing countries. After graduating from Winchester Thurston in 2017, the boys teamed up with Omni Med, a nonprofit that trains health workers, and traveled with the organization to Uganda last summer to show workers how to use their ORTubes. If they can secure funding, Jack and Jacob hope to mass-produce thousands of ORTubes for health workers, in Uganda and other third world countries.

PittsburghParent
University of Pennsylvania

Press Release: University of Pennsylvania

Evaluating the Long-Term Viability of the Oral Rehydration Tube in Rural Uganda

Diarrheal diseases are the second leading cause of death among post-neonatal children under the age of five. Oral rehydration solution (ORS)—a solution made from a 1:1 molar ratio of salt and sugar—has been hailed as “potentially the most important medical advance of the 20th century” for its remarkable ability to combat the life-threatening dehydration associated with diarrheal disease. Despite its effectiveness, only 2 out of every 5 children with diarrhea receive ORS, and ORS coverage is lowest in regions where the risk posed by diarrheal diseases is the greatest. Underutilization of this life-saving treatment arises both from the fact that pre-measured packets of ORS solutes are not reliably distributed in developing regions as well as the fact that existing homemade ORS recipes such as mixing a three-finger pinch of salt and a fistful of sugar in a liter of water lack the precision and perception of medical legitimacy to be a trusted method of ORS preparation.

Press Release: Omni Med

Omni Med Distributes Oral Rehydration Solution Tubes

In October 2016, Jacob Dubner and Jack Waters—two high school seniors from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—set out with one goal—reducing mortality from diarrheal diseases. Diarrheal diseases are the second leading cause of death of children under the age of five, with infections such as cholera, rotavirus, and E. coli claiming the lives of over 500,000 children per year. In Uganda, an estimated 10,637 children under five years of age die each year due to rotavirus alone. Oral rehydration solution (ORS), a simple solution of salts and sugar, has been hailed by the Lancet as “potentially the most important medical advance of the 20th century” for its revolutionary role in combating the fatal levels of dehydration caused by diarrheal disease. ORS is an effective, inexpensive, and potentially widely accessible treatment for diarrheal diseases, but organizational inefficiencies and high costs of distribution have prevented pre-measured packets of ORS solutes from achieving widespread coverage across Uganda, and alternate methods of preparing ORS are unable to achieve the specific concentrations of salt and sugar that are needed for the treatment to be safe and effective.

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