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Location

Kenya

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Sector

Water, Health

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Type of Investment

Grant

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Project Stage

Test & Transition

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Length of Investment

2023+

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Website

Investment Overview

Venturi is a passive chlorination device that automatically adds chlorine to water at the point of water collection without moving parts or electricity, making it easier for users to safely clean water for drinking and other uses.


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The Development Challenge

More than 2 billion people around the world lack access to safely managed drinking water facilities, which are particularly limited in settings such as school and healthcare facilities (HCFs). A recent assessment of WASH in HCFs in 54 low- and middle-income countries found that 38% of HCFs do not use an improved water supply, 19% do not have access to improved sanitation, and 35% do not have hand-washing facilities. HCF water systems have been implicated as a source of waterborne infection for patients, including birthing mothers and neonates, yet there is a lack of cost of cost-effective or well-evidenced scalable interventions to improve water quality in these settings.

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The Innovation

The Venturi is a passive chlorinator that automatically doses chlorine at the point of water collection. Chlorination improves water quality by inactivating harmful microorganisms and reducing diarrheal disease; a recent systematic review found that chlorination can reduce the odds of all-cause child mortality of about 30%. However, existing dosing methods place the burden for water treatment on individual users and even small declines in compliance result in large reductions in potential health benefits. Passive chlorination is a promising alternative as dosing is automatic and integrated with existing outlets, meaning there is little behaviour change required on the part of the user. The Venturi has some competitive advantages over other passive chlorinators: it is likely to have a lower production costs and retail price and uses widely available liquid chlorine as opposed to proprietary tablets. The Venturi was developed by teams at Stanford University, MSR Global Health and the Pickering Lab at University of California, Berkeley (UCB).

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Our Investment

GIF awarded a test and transition grant of $750,000 in 2023 to UCB focussed on generating learning on how the Venturi performs and its retail potential. Further, GIF investment will enable UCB to develop and validate an operational model for how Venturi’s can be used in Healthcare facilities as well as undertake randomised evaluation to assess its impact on health outcomes and cost-effectiveness of the device in healthcare settings. This evidence and learning will inform both private sectors and public sector scale strategies.

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Progress to date

The Venturi has gone through several rounds of iterative design and testing in Kenya, and has been installed in health care facilities in Busia and Kisumu.Findings on customer feedback and HCFs surveys are expected in 2024, with results of the randomised control trial and cost effectiveness analysis expected in 2026.

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Venturi in numbers

18%

proportion of child births in Kenya delivered in an environment with improved water (Gon et al. 2016).

23%

reduction in diarrhoea among children in Bangladesh using water from passive chlorination as compared to those receiving water treated with vitamin C.

30%

reduction in the odds of all-cause child mortality when water has been chlorinated.