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On Sept. 23, Dr. Jeffrey L. Deal, inventor of TRU-D SmartUVC, an automated room decontamination device used to eliminate pathogens in healthcare settings, will participate as a panelist in a special session on "Mobilizing a United Corporate and Communications Response to Contain Ebola" as part of the Center for Global Health and Diplomacy (GHD)'s Conference on Creating a Post-2015 Infrastructure for Development: Challenges, Successes and Suggestion for the Future. The purpose of the session is to discuss innovative strategies for the containment of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.
Deal recently returned from a 10-day mission in Monrovia, Liberia, where he installed two TRU-D robots, donated by TRU-D SmartUVC LLC, in the Ebola Treatment Units at JFK and ELWA Hospitals. As a part of the Ebola Task Force, which also included teams from WHO, the CDC, Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF and the World Food Programme, Deal worked with many others involved in the international aid effort while in Liberia. He will join principals from the CDC Foundation, the UN Foundation and other global health and political organizations on the CGHD conference panel to share his experiences in the debate on the international community's current ability to control the epidemic.
"This disease is shredding the fabric of societies in Western Africa in ways that will echo for generations," Deal said. "I personally saw TRU-D in action in the treatment units and it is perfect-- no expendables, simple to operate and astonishingly effective against Ebola and other potential hospital acquired infections. I hope this conference provides a platform to determine when, where, and how we can best apply these and other technologies and resources."
Alpha Conde, president of the Republic of Guinea, will lead the session with a keynote address. After the session concludes, Deal, along with representatives from TRU-D SmartUVC LLC and other session attendees will be a part of the NASDAQ closing bell ceremony, where every dollar donated during that time will be given to the CDC Foundation to support national and international organizations working to contain Ebola.
TRU-D, short for Total Room Ultraviolet Disinfector, was the first automated room decontamination system to be used in Africa, and the two devices are still aiding in the battle against the Ebola virus outbreak today. The device works by using UV-C light energy – generated during a single cycle from a single, central location in the room – to modify the DNA structure of pathogens in the room, like Ebola, so that they cannot reproduce. Viruses, bacteria and spores that cannot reproduce cannot colonize and harm patients.
"As TRU-D has repeatedly been validated in third-party clinical studies as being 99 percent effective in destroying pathogens, there was never a question of its ability to aid in the fight against Ebola," says Chuck Dunn, president of TRU-D SmartUVC LLC. "The only question was how quickly we could get the robots and Dr. Deal to Monrovia to support in the ongoing battle."
Both TRU-D units in Liberia were previously released from a 28-month-long CDC-funded study conducted by the Duke University Prevention Epicenter Program, the most comprehensive evaluation of the real-world application of UV-C disinfection to date.
Deal currently serves as director of health studies for Water Missions International, a nonprofit Christian engineering organization providing sustainable safe water and sanitation solutions for people in developing countries and disaster areas. Deal holds an anthropology degree, medical degree, board certifications and three post-doctoral fellowships and has had a long and distinguished medical career including 30 years as a clinical instructor at MUSC. His passion for tropical medicine led him to spend time establishing and working in medical facilities in locations around the world such as South Sudan, Darfur and finally Tanzania.