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Banfora: Health centres in the spotlight

A new project SANIYA SO+ will be implemented in the 17 health centres of the commune of Banfora.

Written by IRC. Original article available here

Development stakeholders are joining IRC in the support of the commune of Banfora in becoming a national reference for access to sustainable drinking water and sanitation services by 2030. The One Drop Foundation is financing a two-year project (March 2020 to April 2022) implemented by the Espace Culturel Gambidi (ECG). With a total cost of US$1 million, the project, "SANIYA SO+", complements the actions of the "SANIYA SO" project implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CSR). It will be implemented in the 17 health centres of the commune of Banfora.

SANIYA SO+
An evocative "plus" that announces and clarifies the ambitions of this project to contribute to the improvement of the health of the people of the district of Banfora, by promoting good hygiene and sanitation practices through social art for behaviour change. Indeed, a participatory assessment of the health centres, carried out by SANIYA SO+ and its partners in May 2020, revealed that there are significant risks in the control of infections linked to the transmission of pathogenic genes. These threats to the health of the population have multiple causes, including poor/non-practice of handwashing with soap by both health workers and patients, lack of handwashing facilities and attributes (soap and water), unavailability and lack of adequate maintenance of latrines that meet standards. Since health centres are vulnerable places, they could not be left out of this planning. This is the opinion of the project implementing manager, Mr. Amédée SININI, according to whom "health centres must be places of healing and not places where diseases are spread". Therefore, SANIYA SO+ is focusing its attention on making health centres clean because these places are meant to save lives.

The assessment led to the elaboration of an Implementation Plan (IP) for the said project, which plans to involve the different actors, both from the water and sanitation sector and from the health sector, to work in synergy for the success of the SANIYA SO+ project. Health actors will be at the heart of this project because, as the coordinator of the social art for behaviour change component of SANIYA SO+, Emmanuel Koama stated, "when the word is carried by the actors themselves, it is quickly taken on board".

The workshop
In order to inform the stakeholders of the IP, a workshop was organised on Monday 6th July 2020, in Banfora by the Espace Culturel Gambidi in collaboration with IRC and the commune of Banfora. Chaired by the mayor of the commune, Aboubakar HEMA, with his first deputy by his side, the workshop was attended by several actors from the water, hygiene, sanitation and health sectors. IRC, CRS, One Drop, Health District, Health Agents, MUNYU Association, Banfora municipality and its Directorate of Water, Sanitation and Public Hygiene, Espace Culturel Gambidi were the stakeholders at this meeting. During the workshop, the protocol was signed and exchanged between the municipality and Espace Culturel Gambidi in order to formalise the collaboration between the two parties.

Tasks are defined and precise
At the end of the meeting, the plan met with the approval of all participants and was therefore unanimously validated. After this act and subject to the consideration of the amendments made to the document by the participants, from now on, the tasks for the implementation of SANIYA SO+ are defined and precise. This is the actual start of the project and kick-off for the improvement of the drinking water, hygiene and sanitation services in the health centres of Banfora. All actors are aware of what is at stake. The mayor of the commune, Mr. Aboubakar HEMA said among other things: "We are all leaders for behaviour change in the water, hygiene and sanitation sector. This plan belongs to all of us and each of us must contribute their share to its implementation".

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