Preventing Ebola and promoting good sanitation practices
When the 10th Ebola epidemic hit the DRC, UNICEF decided to conduct a project to prevent the disease from spreading to the province of Tshopo.
"Water is precious", said Bella while happily refilling her water container at the drinking fountain of the Kabondo Hôpital Général de Référence which was refurbished by UNICEF in Kisangani, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
A few years ago, there was no water in this hospital where Bella regularly brings her children for medical care. "We would get water from a river about one hundred meters from here", admitted the Mom who can now obtain potable water to bathe her son while he is in hospital there. « This water really helps us», she added.
When an Ebola epidemic hit the neighbouring provinces of North-Kivu and Ituri in November 2020, UNICEF increased access to water services and sanitation in seven health facilities and seven schools in Kisangani thanks to assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Two years later, access to potable water in health facilities continues to encourage healthy practices. Sanitation has improved, the risks of infections have decreased considerably and this has improved the quality of care. "Regular hand washing prevents disease", said nurse Anifa who encourages hand washing in the hospital.