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UNICEF Pacific works with Ministry of Health & Medical Services, towards increasing capacity for monitoring of WASH activities

© Adam Pearse

SUVA, 27 January, 2015 – The Ministry of Health and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Pacific office will hold a training on mobile phone based data collection on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities from January 26 -30 in Suva, Fiji.

Undertaken in collaboration with Akvo Foundation, the training will demonstrate to more than 20 WASH partners the use of mobile phone technology to collect and analyse the situation of WASH in schools and communities. 

UNICEF Pacific Representative, Dr. Karen Allen said “Adequate water and sanitation as part of a healthy school environment significantly improve a child’s ability to develop and thrive. Good hygiene behaviour at school can initiate behaviour changes that last a lifetime.”

She added that “This breakthrough technology will allow multiple stakeholder groups access to real time monitoring of both hardware for WASH (sanitation and drinking water systems) and identify key hygiene behaviors of children and communities across the country.” 

The Deputy Secretary for Health, Dr. Eric Rafai stated “Water, sanitation and hygiene is a basic necessity for good health, it is a fundamental building block for economical and development growth. With that said, there is a need to monitor and maintain the surveillance of WASH in both schools and communities, coupled with the ever increasing need for up to date, reliable data for informed decision making, it is essential to use consistent, fast, accurate and cost effective method of data collection.” 

A training in Vanuatu last year with the Health Ministry and the Akvo Foundation revealed the status of over 1600 water points in Shefa, Province in less than three months. 

The Fiji training will focus on empowering key water and sanitation sector partners and collaborators to improve reporting on WASH in Fiji and also identify key gaps for access and provision of safe drinking water and safe sanitation to schools and vulnerable communities. 

Fiji WASH in Schools partners (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, UNICEF and Fijian Teachers Association, Access to Quality Education Program) will use Akvo to actively monitor and evaluate their intervention activities and make collaborative, informed decisions based on accurate current data.  

About Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health delivers its services to the Fiji population, with 3 main Divisional Hospitals, 2 Specialist Hospitals,  17 Sub-divisional Hospitals, over 81 Health Centre’s and 98 Nursing Stations. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is always focused on working closely with government departments, development partners, private and non-governmental organisations, faith based and professional groups to ensure the people of Fiji continue to receive improved and quality health care services. Visit. www.health.gov.fj for more information about our work.

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and our work in the Pacific visit: unicefpacific.org

For more information please contact: 

Waqairapoa Tikoisuva, Ministry of Health on 679 3215 710 or w.tikoisuva@health.gov.fj 

Donna Hoerder, UNICEF on 679 3236 100 or dhoerder@unicef.org

 

 
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