Applying the “Four WASH Key Messages” – Healthy Daily Life
Implementing the 4 WASH key messages at Belafika Haut Health Centre transformed habits and boosted the morale of inhabitants, particularly patients.
The Belafika Haut Health Centre in the district of Ampanihy, in the southern part of Madagascar, does not have drinking water all year round, except during the rainy season because of its geographical area located in an arid region.
Patients receiving care at the health centre have alternative groundwater sources. About 5 years ago, water tanks were installed by the NGO Action Contre la Faim; they are currently out of order although they are equipped with taps and carefully fenced. Now, the staff of the Health Centre as well as the patients draw water from a well located 50 metres from the Centre.
In 2022, UNICEF and the NGO SAHI take action with a view to the Star Approach activity aiming to promote the daily practice related to the four key messages on hygiene and sanitation, including the use of sanitary latrines, hand washing with soap at critical times, drinking potable water and managing menstrual hygiene. Recently, and thanks to this practical application, the “four key WASH messages, for good health and healthy lifestyle”. These practices also make it possible to assess the Health Centre at three levels denominated by star.
Over time, applying the four key messages at the Health Centre level not only brings about a safer and healthier life, but also contributes to changing hygiene habits and practices in the village, hamlets and even the entire commune. The community and community workers as well as the patients, during the prenatal consultation, were trained by Bien Vive to ensure good practice related to this natural benefit.
Motivated by the result of these bold habits, the midwife said, “Applying the four key WASH messages daily, which summarizes good hygienic practices to be applied every day, allows us to have good health, which I witness.” As a focal point for the transmission of messages at the health centre level, Bien Vive is committed to continuously raising awareness in its community – its patients first – to maintain cleanliness in the commune so that the inhabitants, especially that children are protected from the adverse effects of poor sanitation. “Thanks to the benefits of the 4 key messages observed by community workers, patients and mothers have in turn begun to practice them in their daily lives,” she adds.