HACEY Organize Capacity Building Workshop for Health Workers, educates staff on safe water and hygiene practices in Oyo State.

HACEY Health Initiative has organized capacity building workshops for healthcare workers, educating the workforce and community leaders from selected primary health care centres and public primary schools across Ibadan South West Local Government Area, Ibadan North West Local Government Area, Ibadan North East Local Government Area, Lagelu Local Government Area, Egbeda Local Government Area on safe water and proper sanitation and hygiene practices. 

The Clean Water Initiative capacity building workshop organized by HACEY Health Initiative with support from Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation aimed to improve the healthcare and education workforce’s knowledge to effectively manage the water, sanitation and hygiene response in selected public schools and primary healthcare centres.

The workshop facilitated discussions on unhealthy water, sanitation and hygiene practices within healthcare centres, schools and communities, and devised steps to effect positive change.

Participants were engaged in various activities and discussions demonstrating how poor access to safe water, sanitation facilities, and practises like open defecation and poor hand hygiene contribute to poor health and economic outcomes.

After an extensive discussion, participants brainstormed simple yet sustainable solutions that can be implemented in selected healthcare centres, schools and communities to improve the WASH situations.

Speaking during the workshop, the project lead, Mrs Chioma Obi, highlighted some of the impacts of poor access to WASH facilities, including increased incidence of maternal and neonatal mortality, increased prevalence of water-borne diseases, and school absenteeism, especially amongst girls and minimized earning potential due to poor health outcomes.

Furthermore, she called for a stronger collaboration between healthcare and education workers and community members in establishing systems and structures to ensure that the water facility is protected and to ensure community members consistently practice proper water, sanitation, and hygiene behaviours.

Towards supporting the effort of school administrators, teachers, school nurses and school health assistants in providing students with comprehensive and age-appropriate information on safe water and proper sanitation and hygiene practices, a WASH training manual was developed. The manual serves as a practical guide for teachers when conducting hygiene promotion activities in schools. 

At the end of the training, participants were encouraged to step down knowledge gained from the training to students, patients and other staff members. PHC workers were also encouraged to include WASH teachings as part of their pre-and post-natal education for pregnant women and nursing mothers.

The health and education workforce appreciated the knowledge gathered during the training and pledged to work with other relevant stakeholders to ensure project sustainability.

Access to safe water, adequate sanitation facilities, and hygiene promotion (WASH) is a basic human right that plays an integral role in improving the population’s health and productivity. Limited access to basic WASH services puts vulnerable populations at risk of water-borne illnesses, maternal and neonatal mortality, and school absenteeism and/or dropout. 

In ensuring that everyone irrespective of their status has access to safe water, HACEY Health Initiative with support from Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation launched the Clean Water Initiative project in 2015. The project is aimed at improving access to potable water in rural and underserved communities. So far, the initiative has provided boreholes and trainings on WASH best practices to over 150,000 people in 52 communities across South-west Nigeria.

This year, the project aims to increase the availability of basic WASH information and services in 7 primary health centres and 6 public schools in Oyo and Delta State through the installation of electricity powered boreholes, handwashing stations and capacity building session on safe water and proper sanitation and hygiene practices (WASH).

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