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Design could save lives in Third World

A Northumbria University student’s idea to sanitise clinical waste simply and cheaply in the Third World looks set to save lives in the future.

Sahil Chopra, who is originally from New Delhi but now lives in Wingrove Avenue, Fenham, devised the device for the final year exhibition of his Design for Industry course.

In rural areas of developing nations infections can spread rapidly as hospitals simply dump clinical waste on the streets and people seek out syringes and other materials which they can then recycle on the black market.

To counter the problem, Sahil designed a machine that crushes the waste, rendering the products unusable, simply by turning a handle. A mixture of lime and water is then used to sanitise the waste.

Sahil, 23, said: “Although there are technologies to sanitise waste in the Third World they tend to be very expensive or they emit harmful chemicals or gases. My aim was to design a system that was environmentally friendly and very simple to use.’’

The device is designed to give power to hospitals so that they can keep their waste within their premises until the recycling truck comes to collect it.

Sahil worked on the project with Dr Malcolm Holliday who works at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

Dr Holliday plans to present Sahil’s design idea at a conference next month on tackling waste and it is hoped sponsorship will be able to turn Sahil’s design into reality.

Katrina Alnikizil | alfa
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