Averting outbreak of epidemic

Averting outbreak of epidemic

SNV supported Waghimra zone to prevent and control the outbreak of Acute Water Diarrhoea (AWD).

In the last two months Acute Water Diarrhoea (AWD) occurred in non-open defecation free kebeles of four woredas of Waghimra zone. To avert the situation the zonal health department has requested development partners to contribute to the prevention of the wide spread of the disease.

SNV in response to the call for support has provided household water treatment chemicals: water guard and water purifier to be distributed to Abergele and Sekota Zuria woredas of the zone. SNV supported 12,000 sachets of water purifier chemical and 7,920 bottles of Water guard. Households using unsafe water sources and prone to AWD are receiving the chemicals. These water treatment chemicals will serve around 20,000 people for two months.

Receiving the household water treatment chemicals Deputy Health Department Head of Waghimra zone, Moges Merka said, “The support is timely for prevention of AWD and other water borne diseases. We will disperse the water treatment chemicals immediately to the selected woredas.”

The health department has organised an emergency task force to closely following the updates related to the epidemic. SNV, being an active member of the task force, is playing an active role in the prevention and control of AWD. The task force agreed to create awareness on the importance of preventive methods including safe water storage and treatment.

Although cases occurred in four woredas of the zone, there are no deaths caused by AWD due to active surveillance, case management and distribution of household water treatment chemicals and the continued awareness creation on household water treatment, latrine usage and hand washing with soap at critical times.

The incidence of AWD in the non-ODF kebeles implies that achieving ODF status and sustained use of toilets, and hand washing at critical moments can prevent from acquiring sanitation and hygiene related diseases such as AWD. In addition, strengthening the post ODF activities, and household water treatment and safe storage will contribute much in the prevention and control of such diseases.

“The AWD outbreak needs joint effort of partners. SNV, although not an emergency response organisation, through Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) programme has supported water treatment chemicals as the prevention of water, sanitation and hygiene related diseases aligns with the project’s objectives” said Osman Yiha, WASH Advisor, SSH4A.

Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) Results Programme aims to support the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) in its efforts to increase access to sustainable sanitation and hygiene. With the support of the programme 95 kebles out of 104 triggered kebeles have declared open defecation free status. The programme has continued to work on post-ODF activities to sustain results and to contribute to the prevention of the incidence of sanitation and hygiene related diseases.