By Albert Futukpor, GNA
Tamale, May 29, GNA – A Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facility has been constructed for the Tamale Central Reproductive Maternal and Child Health (RMCH) Clinic to ensure improved sanitation practices.
The new WASH facility comprises a four-seater toilet block and an elevated water storage tank with a volume of 5,000 litres, which can provide emergency storage for up to five days.
The Tamale RMCH, located at Changli, a suburb of Tamale, provides outpatient care, family planning, child welfare clinics and maternal, new-born and child health services for more than 150 outpatients per day.
Before the provision of the WASH facility, the Tamale RMCH facility did not have sufficient outpatient toilets nor did it meet the Guidelines for WASH in Health Care facilities.
The facility was constructed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as part of the WASH in Healthcare Facilities Support under the Urban Sanitation Project, which is funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ghana.
Under the Urban Sanitation Project, UNICEF has also rehabilitated the Tamale Waste Stabilisation Pond at Gbalahi, where faecal matter from homes will be dumped for proper treatment and disposal.
Mrs Anne-Claire Dufay, UNICEF Country Representative, who spoke at a ceremony in Tamale to hand over the facilities to the beneficiary institutions, expressed the commitment of UNICEF to demonstrate sustainable models for the provision of WASH at health care centres by providing new facilities or rehabilitating the existing ones to make them fully functional and easy to manage.
Mrs Dufay said aside from the Tamale RMCH, six other health centres in the Metropolis were targeted to benefit from the WASH facility under the Urban Sanitation Project.
She urged all stakeholders to ensure that health facilities have high quality, adequate, reliable WASH services and emphasised that “Functioning WASH facilities in health centres significantly improve the confidence of patients, hence the service uptake.”
Mr Gilbert Nuuri-Teg, Tamale Metropolitan Coordinating Director, said under the Urban Sanitation Project, “Between the period 2015 – 2021, out of its targeted household toilets of 13,362, it achieved 16,440 representing 123 per cent as against the overall target of 37,000 for all the five metropolitan and municipal assemblies.”
Mr Nuuri-Teg said the rehabilitation of the Tamale Waste Stabilisation Pond would bring to a close the indiscriminate dumping of faecal waste that had consequences on the environment and the health of the people.
Other measures instituted under the Urban Sanitation Project to improve household latrine coverage in Tamale included the institution of a social fund to give soft loans to poor households to construct their latrines and pay back in instalments.
Mr Ronald Striker, Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, was happy that the facilities were provided to address WASH needs, especially in this period of COVID-19.
He advised the beneficiaries to put the facilities to good use and continue to observe good sanitation practices.