Health Ministry, HEPDO sensitise communities on hygiene, sanitation

Health Ministry, HEPDO sensitise communities on hygiene, sanitation
Health Ministry, HEPDO sensitise communities on hygiene, sanitation

Africa-Press – Gambia. The exercise was part of a six-day awareness forum targeting communities affected by last July flash floods within Kombo North, Kanifing Municipality and Banjul.

Funded by UNICEF, the exercise was designed to improve community’s awareness on health-related issues as well as to empower them with the much-needed skills on health promotion and prevention at the grassroots across the country.

Speaking to journalists on the last day of the sensitisation, Omar Barrow, health education and promotion officer under Western one, Health Directorate, acknowledged that last July floods affected a lot areas in the country, adding that it was against this backdrop that HEPDO, a national NGO approached them to see how best they could do by sensitizing residents in these affected areas on the health effects of floods.

Barrow explained that when flooding occurs a lot of health-related areas could be affected, citing water shortage and outbreaks of diseases.

“So, this is why HEPDO thought it necessary to collaborate with the health region to reach out to the masses and sensitize them on water and sanitation. However, we are also taking this forum as an opportunity to broaden our messages to these communities with regards to Acute Kidney Injury (AKI).”

He indicated that advent of AKI has also come with lot of misinformation, thus the need to dispel some of those misinformation and to empower communities on health and hygiene.

“At the end of the forum, we expect these communities would understand water purification methods and adapt to best practices when it comes to hygiene and sanitation.”

For his part, Abdoulie Faye, project officer at Health Promotion and Development Organisation (HEPDO), revealed that the received funding from UNICEF designed to create awareness on health related issues among communities.

Faye explained that floods always pose serious challenges to communities, saying when it occurs a lot of diseases could emanate from it which could cause challenges to communities.

“A healthy cannot develop with good health. So far, all the communities visited, we realized that the communities really appreciated what we are doing.”

Saikou Jallow, a community development assistant Banjul Regional Office under the Department of Community Development said that his institution is a key partner when it comes to development works in the country, saying they always engage communities about their health status.

Jallow acknowledged that since they are talking to communities about their health, sanitation and hygiene, it is critical to sensitize them so as to improve on their health and wellbeing.

“You cannot talk about development in the absence without having a good health. I think this is very important we sensitise them on health issues.”

Mai Kassama, a participant, thanked the organizers for their foresight, saying health is critical in any meaningful development.

She revealed that her family was affected by last July floods, further describing the event as timely in view of the fact that flooding always comes with many health hazards such as water borne diseases.

She expressed hope that whatever she learnt during the event will be shared with her family and colleagues on how best to stay healthy.

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