South Africa Equips “Miracle Trains” with Copper

South Africa Equips “Miracle Trains” with Copper
21 Jul 2015

Medical trains are being deployed throughout South Africa to provide healthcare to rural communities that lack proper medical equipment and staff. Some of these remote areas have only a single doctor who must treat up to 5,000 people. Transnet’s Phelophepa I and II “miracle trains” are carrying more than doctors and medicine; they are each equipped with antimicrobial copper, another powerful means that helps healthcare facilities combat bacteria and harmful microbes.

Phelophepa Train HandlesAntimicrobial copper door handles have been installed in the two 18-coach trains to reduce bacteria and protect staff and riders alike. The trains reach more than 300,000 people each year, and bacteria-killing copper in the environment has surrounded each of these people. Transnet plans to install antimicrobial copper cupboard doors in the kitchen facilities, and antimicrobial copper table tops in some of the clinics.

“We added copper to our existing infection control measures… for the thousands of people who use our trains every year,” explains Shamona Kandia, senior portfolio manager for Health Transnet Foundation.  “Phelophepa is about improving not just the health of individuals, but the health of entire communities, resulting in a healthier and more productive South Africa.  Preventing the spread of infection is key to what we do.”

Antimicrobial copper touch surfaces are increasingly being used by healthcare facilities worldwide because of their benefits. The use of copper, when coupled with key infection control measures, hand washing and disinfection, creates a better environment for staff and patients whose lives are on the line.

For more information on antimicrobial copper, visit

*Laboratory testing shows that, when cleaned regularly, antimicrobial copper surfaces kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: MRSA, VRE, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7. Antimicrobial copper surfaces are a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control practices and have been shown to reduce microbial contamination, but do not necessarily prevent cross contamination or infections; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices.

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