We are delighted to have secured funding through the Wales and Africa Emergency COVID Response Grant Scheme for a life-saving project installing running water, toilets, and showers in Ugandan health facilities.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), providing accessible clean water and handwashing can protect 1 in 3 young children who get sick with diarrhoea and 1 in 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia, in addition to preventing the transmission of COVID.
Atutur General Hospital
Atutur Hospital is one of 139 government-financed Tier 5 Hospitals in Uganda, serving the districts of Kumi, Bukedea, Ngora and Pallisa in the Teso Region of Eastern Uganda, with an approximate population of 1 million.
The hospital’s dilapidated water system has been in desperate need of repair for many years, with staff resorting to bringing water into the wards in jerricans. Not having running water meant old bathrooms were used for storage. Without consistent access to water, staff found maintaining handwashing, cleaning, and sterilisation of equipment almost impossible.
Through the support of Wales and Africa, our donors, and in collaboration with Sanitation Africa Ltd, we were able to fund the plumbing of running water into all 4 in-patient wards, as well as the Operating Theatre and on-site Pathology Lab.
Each ward received a toilet block with 4 flushing toilets and 4 showers; 2 staff toilets; 1 accessibility toilet and wet room, and both private rooms in the wards received an en-suite bathroom.
Running water is supposed to be in the hospital because we are looking at infection control, so handwashing is one of the key factors in infection control. It has really improved on the health, both for health workers and patients in the ward, through the entire hospital. Whereby we prevent cross infections between health workers and the patients, and both from the patients to the health workers.Esther, Nursing Officer, Atutur General Hospital
Mukongoro Health Centre III
Mukongoro HC is a Tier 3 government-financed health facility offering 24/7 community health care to the 16 parishes (with an estimated population of 55,500) in the sub-county of Mukongoro, Kumi.
Work was completed on the 12th of August providing running water throughout the facility, in every room and department.
An external toilet and shower block was also built for the Maternity ward so that expectant and new mothers would finally have somewhere to bathe.
Lastly, an incinerator was constructed for patients and staff to dispose of sanitary towels and other waste, rather than clogging up the new toilets.
The women [maternity patients] found it very hard to fetch water because it was a long distance across the road to the other side, so it was something hard. Sometimes you just look at the woman going back home when she’s not showered, it’s something hard, but now there is no longer a shortage of water. We can easily access the water.Lydia, Midwife, Mukongoro HC III
Nyero Health Centre III
Nyero HC is a Tier 3 government-financed health facility offering 24/7 community health care to the 10 parishes (with an estimated population of 39,400), in the sub-county of Nyero, Kumi.
Running water was plumbed throughout the facility and an external tap was provided for the compound. In addition, a water reservoir was attached to the laboratory to ensure a continuous supply of running water, as sometimes water cuts out.
Funding also enabled the installation of a bathing shelter and washing platform for the Maternity Ward, complete with showers and a large sink for washing clothes/personal belongings. An incinerator was also installed to facilitate waste-disposal.
As the staff we are no longer fetching water from outside. I remember, some time back ago, it was so hard for us to get water. We had to move kilometres, at the same time you had to work. But I must say [this project] it has made our work easy. Also to the community around, as they are coming to access other services here in this facility, you find that you may tell a patient that you can swallow this medicine right now [as there is drinking water onsite].”Norah, Nurse, Nyero HC III
Wales and Africa Emergency COVID Response
Funding for these projects was secured through the Welsh Government’s Wales and Africa Grant Scheme. We were also delighted to have been awarded with funding to support 20 primary schools to improve their sanitation and menstrual health provision.