Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Dr. Jeffery Deal departed from Charleston en route to the Republic of Liberia, responding to a request from the office of the president of Liberia for assistance in fighting the deadly Ebola virus.
Deal is the director of health studies for Water Missions International (WMI) and the inventor of a device, TRU-D SmartUVC, that delivers a lethal dose of UV-C light to disinfect health care environments. The CDC stresses that diligent environmental disinfection and safe handling of potentially contaminated materials is paramount in settings where patients with the Ebola virus have been treated.
“We developed TRU-D SmartUVC technology to combat the devastating effects of hospital-acquired infections,” Deal said. “Unlike many diseases, Ebola strikes hospital workers more than any other group, making it the ultimate in potentially deadly hospital-acquired infections.”
Two units donated by TRU-D LLC arrived in Liberia, where Deal assembled them before traveling to meet with health care workers at John F. Kennedy Medical Center and ELWA Hospital in Monrovia. Deal also brought protective garments, gowns and other isolation equipment donated by Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston.
Deal's trip will last approximately two weeks, during which he will lead the deployment of both TRU-D units by training hospital staff to operate the devices in a number of hospital environments and monitor progress for successful disinfection. The devices will then remain in the area to be deployed as needed in the Republic of Liberia.
The TRU-D SmartUVC technology is turned on using a remote control and once activated, delivers a lethal dose of UV-C light from a central location in the room. The UV light energy modifies the DNA structure of viral pathogens, like Ebola, so they cannot reproduce.
“The beauty of the TRU-D SmartUVC technology is that it is such a sophisticated device that it can calculate variables associated with any room,” Deal said. “But, it's also incredibly easy to use and even talks the user through the activation steps to ensure that there is no room for error.”
Deal started working with WMI in 2008. He is board certified in tropical medicine and otolaryngology, the medical specialty associated with ear, nose and throat conditions. Under Deal's direction, WMI conducted a first-of-its-kind health impact study that demonstrated a quantifiable reduction in diarrheal disease as a result of WMI's implementation of a community-wide safe water and sanitation solution.