Clean Water Critical for Health Centers
Health centers are frequently the first point of care, especially for those in rural areas. They also are critical in responding to disease outbreaks, such as cholera and diarrhea.
Yet, without clean and safe water, the ability of health care workers to carry out proper infection prevention and control measures and demonstrate to communities safe water practices, both of which are especially important in controlling and stopping outbreaks, is greatly compromised. In addition, the Health Center works with community health workers to educate people on the dangers of dirty water. This can be a hard message to deliver when clean water isn’t even available at the Health Center either.
Access to clean water was one of the major problems for the Juru Health Center. Until, they received a SAM2 Community Filter through 20 Liters in May 2016.
SAM2s are large-capacity sand-and-membrane filters, with the capacity to provide clean water to more than 400 people a day. These filters are primarily installed in health clinics and schools. SAM2 Community Filters allow visitors to health clinics to take their medicine with clean water and bring a full container home with them. Being able to get clean water in the classroom means children don’t have to miss school to fetch water. They can simply bring it home with them. A SAM2 requires no electricity or fuel and has no moving parts, making it the ideal solution for rural areas. Volunteers train representatives from each school or clinic to use and maintain the filter. This training equips them with the skills to keep clean water flowing. In addition, local technical volunteers visit regularly to provide support and additional training to keep filters fully functional.
Uwimana Samuel is a doctor at the Juru Health Center. He told us that their facility had no access to safe, drinkable water for a long time and efforts to boil water were met with financial constraints.
“It is hard to provide water for the hundreds of patients that visit the facility on a daily basis. Yet, we have to set an example and practice what we preach to the patients about using clean safe water to avoid certain diseases.” he says.
Uwimana is thankful for the Water Project. “I can’t tell you how valuable this water filter is to the Health Center. All I can say is that we really appreciate the donation. It is helping not only the patients here to take drugs, but also people from all around. We pray that this Project should continue and reach out to all in need of safe water” Uwimana says.