Swachchhata (Health and Hygiene Activity)
USAID-funded Swachchhata project, led by SNV, is a joint bid to improve the health status of communities in Nepal through the improvements in and the introduction of adherence protocols for safe sanitation and good hygiene in health services delivery.
Health facilities exist across most districts of Nepal. But, the majority lacks access to basic water, sanitation, solid and medical waste management, and electricity: all prerequisites for effective infection prevention and health care.
Towards advancing equitable access to pertinent health and hygiene for all, SNV is lead implementer of USAID’s Health and Hygiene Activity Swachchhata (2016-2021). Swachchhata (‘cleanliness’ in Nepali) is a US$ 5 million project that is being implemented across five districts: the mountain district of Dolpa, and hill districts of Jajarkot, Salyan, Western Rukum (Karnali Province), and Eastern Rukum (Province 5).
Through Swachchhata, SNV—in partnership with the Population Services International (PSI), and with additional support from the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Foundation (SIDeF)—aims to improve the health status of communities by integrating adherence to sanitation and good hygiene in health services delivery. Seeking for an alignment of sanitation and health efforts between rural municipalities, municipalities and wards, Swachchhata activities include:
building long-term capacity of local entities and systems to improve and promote community health;
strengthening the skills of relevant government actors, health centre personnel, and volunteer committees to serve as role models, and spread good hygiene messages through the application of a Behavior Change Communications (BCC) strategy; and
mentoring women, the elderly, and members of potentially disadvantaged groups to become sanitation champions among their peers, and active participants in community sanitation planning.
Swachchhata works extensively with relevant stakeholders at community, rural municipality, district, provincial, and national levels to activate stronger governance and community ownership structures, and to establish a solid base for the project’s sustainability.
Photos: [banner] Dressing room at the Bhur Health Post in Jajarkot with chlorine solutions in buckets, safety box, colour-coded waste bins | [right top] Newly constructed placenta pit at Chayachetra Health Post in Salyan