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Make Me Care About Wastewater

Make Me Care About Wastewater

Update: 2023-06-14


You may have never thought about the water you flush down your toilet or wash down your shower drain. Turns out, signs of disease can be detected in our wastewater systems from these very sources. Monitoring and analyzing wastewater helps public health experts inform and keep the public healthy. Listen in to learn more about the science of wastewater surveillance.

This episode features Jen Hatmaker, an American author, speaker, blogger, and television presenter, in conversation with Supriya Kumar, Program Officer in Global Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Supriya shares how wastewater surveillance can allow countries and communities to understand what pathogens (which cause diseases) are transmitting in the community by analyzing their wastewater (sewage). This provides a more realistic, cost-effective, and equitable picture of where diseases are spreading because it includes information from all populations - including those that don’t have access to healthcare. This also allows for countries to take early action to slow the spread of pathogens. In this way, disease surveillance systems will help to prevent the next pandemic by enabling countries to effectively collect, analyze, and share data with their citizens as well as other countries to make informed national and individual health decisions (e.g. staying home, making more tests available, etc).

Make Me Care About is produced by Magnificent Noise in partnership with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

To learn more about our show:

For more on The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s work:

To learn more about wastewater surveillance:

Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases Strategy:

For more on the work of our guest, Supriya Kumar:

Learn more about our host, Jen Hatmaker:

Our production staff includes Sabrina Farhi, Hiwote Getaneh, Julia Natt, and our sound designer Kristin Mueller. Our Executive Producer is Eric Nuzum and the host is Jen Hatmaker.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.









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Make Me Care About Wastewater

Make Me Care About Wastewater