Health at the Heart of Development
Poverty is one of the first causes of the degradation of a population’s sanitary conditions. Indeed, no long-term development is conceivable without a satisfactory sanitary environment.
In order to prevent or abate this degradation, according to the situation, ACTED has developed an approach based on “health promotion networks” that integrates water sanitation, health education, malaria prevention and rehabilitation of sanitation infrastructure programs. The objective is to contribute to the salubrity and quality of the population’s living contributions, prerequisite and indispensable to sustainable development.
Taking into account the population’s living conditions in their totality by integrating public health issues is a necessity and a priority for ACTED.
Water and Sanitation
In many cases, the conditions in which water is used appear to be at least as important as its quality and salubrity. For this reason, ACTED’s activities related to the rehabilitation of water springs, wells, or adduction networks are systematically implemented in close collaboration and with the participation of the beneficiary communities.
With this outlook, our interventions are based on three pillars:
- The construction or rehabilitation of infrastructures while making sure that access to water of sufficient quality and quantity is guaranteed;
- The participation of beneficiary communities – via the setting up of committees of consumers and the naming of community leaders – in order to ensure the regular maintenance of these infrastructures;
- The informing and training of their members in order to improve their usage, management and evaluation capacities in terms of available water resources.
This approach, which takes into account the existing behaviours and practices, is designed to favour the complete appropriation of the management of water resources as it also limits the conflicts related to the access to these resources.
Promoting the instruments of collective water management guarantees the longevity of our interventions while at the same time contributing to the efficient prevention of conflict.
Health and Hygiene Education
Just as the impact of water and sanitation programs depends on the improvement of infrastructures, these programs should also be accompanied by extension and education services. These activities ensure a better understanding and usage of available resources, maintenance of infrastructures and even their reproduction if necessary.
These actions are based on the setting up of health promotion networks which include community leaders or reference people as well as network “promoters” (community members or representatives of local and/or central authorities) who are trained in prevention methods and public health messages. Training sessions are organized for them on different themes such as drinking water, water and food storage, personal and environmental hygiene, domestic waste management, family planning, etc.
After these sessions, the network mobilizers are responsible for spreading public health messages to the members of their community.
ACTED considers that health education cannot be effective in the long-term if it is not managed by the communities themselves.
Malaria touches millions of people in low-income and middle-income countries and it constitutes one of the principal public health problems in the world. In order to prevent this disease, ACTED has developed an approach that aims to reduce the vectors and sources of malaria by closely associating the communities at-risk. Thus, the distribution of means of protection, such as mosquito nets, is accompanied by awareness-raising activities that are carried out by health promotion network mobilizers, trained for these sorts of activities.
The fight against malaria is based on preventive actions whose reach depends above all on the capacity-building of the communities exposed to a risk of malaria.
Rehabilitation of medical infrastructures
The rehabilitation of medical infrastructures allows for the provision of immediate and essential health services for the population. ACTED implements such interventions with the active participation of beneficiary communities and local authorities in order to ensure the maintenance of the facilities once the work is finished, as well as the presence of qualified and experienced staff on location.
Our actions aim to ensure the continuity of care in the most isolated areas in order to prevent the degradation of the sanitary situation of the communities living there.