Progressio development worker Karina writes:
In the last weeks we've been meeting with people from different communities to share the results of our survey about needs and resources. We've also worked with rural clinics and medical staff to deliver appropriate medicines to the high risk malnourished families identified in the surveys.
Additionally, we made a little plan of immediate response to these results. With parents we have agreed some basic steps to help eradicate parasitic diseases among their children, such as: improved personal hygiene, sanitation and cleaning in the household and food preparation, more attention to water quality through boiling for 5 minutes, and storage in a clean container with a lid or other means of protection to avoid contamination.
Maintaining community reservoirs
With the community, we agreed to set up brigades for cleaning and basic sanitation, as well as a rota for maintenance of water reservoirs. In addition, community-based organisations committed to make a minimum contribution for the purchase of materials needed for these tasks, which shows the importance paid by the communities to these issues.
Ensuring water quality
With the communities it was also agreed to present the study results to the local authorities with the participation of the whole community, in order to achieve real commitment to ensuring water quality through the implementation of an effective chlorination system. The community would commit to maintain the system and make small financial contributions for this.
With regard to the 'promoters' for food security and preventive health, they are committed to follow up with families who participated in the study, by providing further guidance and advice. Their collaboration and commitment shows they are taking shared ownership of the work, and promises sustainability of the activities we are promoting in the target communities. They also played a key role in the identification of families at risk, and the development of the surveys with these families.
Additionally, we have coordinated with the public health department to be involved in the actions that the promoters carry out with the families, in order to support their follow-up work with children at risk of malnutrition.
Photo: Farmer and health promoter Elena Tusen in Loma del Guano, Dominican Republic (photo © Fran Afonso/Progressio)
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