Catholic Relief Services (CRS), a Christian International Non-Governmental Organisation has handed over three (3) Limited Mechanised Water Systems to managers of three Healthcare Facilities in Nabdam and Talensi districts in the Upper East region, Ghana.
The three Limited Mechanized Water Systems which was constructed at the cost of $75,000 were funded by Water Access Now, a US-based charity organization.
According to CRS Ghana the US-based charity organization Water Access Now, in the past nine years has financed 208 water points in Northern Ghana.
Each of the Water Systems have been structured in a way that serves both the health center and the community as well. This is to enable the end-users to have access to adequate, safe. Affordable, reliable, and sustainable water services, and practice safe sanitation and hygiene.
Addressing a gathering at the official commissioning and handing-over of three Limited Mechanized Water Systems held at the premises of the Nangodi Health Center in the Nabdam District, the Country Director- CRS Ghana, Mr. Daniel Mumuni called on managers of the facilities to put in a proper maintenance plan to ensure that the water systems serve their long-term sustainability.
“It is the hope of CRS, our donors Helmsley Charitable Trust and Water Access Now, and local partners, that these three newly constructed mechanized water systems, together with the previously provided WASH facilities, will be operated, and maintained properly by the beneficiary health facilities and Ghana Health Service for continuous, efficient, and sustainable delivery of water, sanitation, and hygiene services to the intended clientele and beneficiaries.” He reiterated.
The Country Director- CRS Ghana, also revealed that his outfit from 2017 to date, has invested over 9 million dollars in the implementation of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene activities in healthcare facilities, schools, and communities and thus have constructed: 273 Boreholes, 13 Limited Mechanised Water Systems, 173 KVIP Latrines, 31 bathrooms and 29 medical incinerators to some healthcare facilities, educational institutions, and communities.
“CRS Ghana has also provided PPEs and medical supplies trained 66 health professionals in Health System Strengthening and Infection, Prevention and Control, Trained Water and Sanitation Management Teams (WSMTs), Sanitation Advocacy Groups (SAGs), Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) groups, Latrine Artisans, and Area Mechanics, to provide local capacity for operation and maintenance and long-term sustainability of WASH interventions through its WASH programmes.” Mr. Mumuni added.
He explained that a recent survey conducted in the Upper East Region by WaterAid revealed that, 24% of health facilities were without access to safe drinking water, while 52% did not have access to basic sanitation, and 79% were not properly handling and manage medical waste. Many health centers lack basic facilities for hand hygiene, waste segregation, and safe disposal which are crucial services to preventing infections and providing quality care, particularly for safe childbirth and COVID-19 control.
According to him in response to the need for prioritization and increased investment in WASH, CRS Ghana designed the Integrated Community Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement (ICOWASH) project –a multi-purpose project, funded by The Helmsley Charitable Trust, aimed at addressing community and institutional WASH needs and building capacities for operation and maintenance, local ownership, and long-term sustainability.
Meanwhile, the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Stephen Yakubu who took delivery of the facilities on behalf of the institutions assured that the Regional Coordinating Council as part of its mandate will be touring the facilities during its quarterly monitoring visits to see the state of these facilities to ensure that the systems work at all times.
He, therefore, thanked the management and staffs of CRS Ghana for their humanly centered and life-saving projects in the region and other parts of the country.
A tour at some of the facilities showed that CRS Ghana’s interventions have contributed significantly to improving the quality of health care delivery and patient safety.
According to some nurses and medical assistants this reporter spoke to, the immediate benefits from CRS’ support to WASH in Health Care Facilities include: Regular cleaning and disinfection of Health Care Facilities environments, reducing odour and making the facilities attractive to patients, Improved handling of infectious waste to reduce the risk of infectious disease transmission, and the eradication of Open Defication in most beneficiary health care facilities.
Some of the other benefits they mentioned were the Reduced threat of disease outbreaks/spread – especially COVID-19, Modeling of good behaviour by health staff in improved hygiene practices, Improved community ownership and management of the water supply systems through the established and trained Water and Sanitation Management Team (WSMT) members.
The beneficiary Healthcare facilities are Nangodi Health and Zanlerigu Health Centers in Nabdam District and Gbani CHPS compound in Talensi District.
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