Diarrheal diseases continue to be one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the developing countries. According to UNICEF, diarrhea accounts for 8% of deaths among children under five years with 1300 children dying each day globally. In Kenya, one in every 10 deaths occurring in children under five years is due to diarrhea (WHO, 2017). Additionally, diarrhea is the leading cause of malnutrition in children below five years as they lose nutrients necessary for growth from episodes of diarrhea.
This problem is compounded by the fact that malnourished children are more likely to suffer from diarrhea, leading to a vicious cycle of diarrhea and malnutrition. In school, children suffering from diarrhea miss valuable school time seeking care and recuperating contributing to poor performance. Money spent on seeking healthcare contributes in impoverishing their families as scarce family resources are depleted. The United Nations established Sustainable Development Goal 6 that aims at improved access to safe water, adequate sanitation facilities and hygiene education for improved hygiene practices.
Village HopeCore has been running a robust WASH program in schools within Mwimbi and Muthambi sub-counties since 2012. Starting with 15 schools, today we are in 207 partner schools. We ensure clean water for drinking and handwashing stations in every partner school through:
- Distribution of one large Water tank per school for water for drinking
- Distribution of 3 small Water tanks for handwashing
- Free waterguard and handwashing soap delivery
- Termly WASH visits and follow ups
- Health education on WaSH to students and health club members
We also ensure WaSH in the community through:
- Education on WaSH to households by CHVs
- 11 handwashing stations in public places
- Collaboration with the department of Health Services and Sanitation to provide free hand washing stations to 29 government health facilities