The New Times (Kigali)

30 June 2014

Rwanda: That Smart Phone Could Expose You to Bacteria

In this era, smart phones have dominated the market of modern technological gadgets. They also seem to have taken over our attention as we scramble to update ourselves with the latest versions.

Where should we now place our worries, is it on our crazy love for the touch screen handsets or one should worry about the health risks that come with this kind of addiction? As a matter of fact, you need to know that your mobile handset carries more than 7,000 species of bacteria, mainly streptococcus.

This would mean disinfecting your hands or washing them with soap every time you finish using your phone. May be the future will reveal a water-resistant phone that we can clean at the end of the day.

Since it's a day for the microorganisms, viruses too have not been left behind in the struggle for survival. No one knows their source but the polio virus might have boarded a plane to find its way in the Brazilian town of Sao Paulo. It's like these microorganisms have no boundaries and as we celebrate our achievements for eradicating poliomyelitis, our feet should remain on the peddle.

But cell phones are not so bad; after all we can't just do without pressing something every five minutes or so. In a broader sense of achievement, 30 sensors of 300 sensors to identify pump leakages have been installed in Rwanda villages to sustain safe water provision. This comes handy with the government's 100 per cent commitment to supply safe water by 2017. Over cell phone internet, sustainable Water, Energy and Environmental Technologies Laboratory, in partnership with Living Water International, can monitor the condition of the pumps which allows immediate maintenance.

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