Cleaning Wells Prevents Spread of Diarrheal Diseases in the Community
Assumane Abudo, member of the Cabaceira Pequena Community Health Committee in Nampula province, never gave any importance to cleaning wells. Other residents in the community did not either; however, when the community began to notice a high incidence of diarrhea cases, resulting in diarrheal diseases and even deaths, they began to reconsider their approach.
Aware of the growing incidence of diarrhea cases, the community teams of the Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) began mobilizing the community to make changes to their behavior and adopt more hygienic and environmentally-friendly health practices through various interventions. MCSP helped to refresh and train committee members in various training packages to disseminate messages on good practices in the community and disease prevention, with particular emphasis on preventive actions and the promotion of maternal, child, newborn, and environmental health.
Thanks to these interventions, Abudo and other members of the committee were able to identify the main source of the spread of diarrheal diseases: an over 500-year-old well, which had low hygienic conditions and did not meet basic water treatment measures.
"People showered, washed their clothes around the well, and threw packets of detergent into the fountain, creating risks of water contamination," Abudo explained.
The Health Committee and community at large have decided to draw up an action plan whereby they should clean the well and other water sources at least twice a month, as well as adopt other low-cost prevention measures such as boiling water before consumption. The Committee also chose a member of the community to monitor the well. As a result, there has been a significant reduction in diarrhea cases in the community, especially in the most vulnerable children.
MCSP is supporting communities in Nampula province, like Cabaceira Pequena, to make changes to their behavior and adopt more hygienic and environmentally-friendly health practices through various interventions These interventions have resulted in an identification of the main source of the spread of diarrheal diseases. Immediately the community began adopting healthy behaviors and interventionsthat have, significantly, reduced diarrhea cases in the community.