Bathrooms Back to Service
Bathrooms in Primary Healthcare Units in Minya are entirely refurbished with UNICEF’ support
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Long hours of a night shift or waiting to get healthcare services at a Primary Healthcare Unit (PHU) with a broken bathroom that can hardly be used. This has been an unpleasant situation faced by many people at the PHU of Towwa village in Minya, Upper Egypt, which is the only place that provides free healthcare services to the people of the village.
In Minya, many PHUs have damaged, leaking bathrooms, rusty water pipes and an overall damaged water distribution infrastructure. As a result, not only the families visiting for healthcare services face hygiene issues. There is also a major issue: precious water is wasted.
In the summer of 2021, UNICEF started a program with the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), local authorities and the Minya Water Company to refurbish the infrastructure, limit the wasting of the precious resource and build capacities in 15 PHUs in different villages across the governorates including Towwa.
Dr. Wael Abd El-Razek, Head of the Healthcare and Nursing Section at MoHP, said: "In line with the joint action plan between the ministry and UNICEF, and as a result of the evaluation done for many PHUs and thorough data analysis, we agreed on certain interventions that can be done by the already-existing capacities to make the best use of the human resource and train in-house workers to resolve recurrent issues."
"The different aspect of these refurbishments is water conservation," says Remone Shokry, WASH consultant at UNICEF Egypt, "in the inspection phase, we found that all broken taps were hugely wasting water. We replaced them with water-saving taps that made a big difference."
In one month, bathrooms and pipe systems in three out of 15 targeted PHUs in Minya were completely refurbished. Water heaters, new doors and light bulbs were also introduced.
Now, children who are advised to practice handwashing more frequently to protect themselves against COVID-19 can directly apply the instructions while they're visiting the PHU for vaccination. Also, healthcare professionals report that they could finally spend their long shifts more conveniently after having to go back and forth to their own houses to use the bathroom.
The rest of the PHUs are expected to be refurbished by the end of the year along with targeted PHUs outside Minya in Fayoum and Asyut governorates for a total of 27 facility.