A draft for the standard operating procedure to obtain clean water, namely the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) initiative has been formulated. The draft is being reviewed today by the various stakeholders working on the initiative to strengthen its content. Its purpose is to teach basic sanitation and hygiene to communities and school children. There is a particular focus on girls’ education and gender equality, as a necessary complement to the success of water and sanitation infrastructure projects. Love News attended the draft assessment and spoke to Kathleen Cho, the technical advisor for the health education and Health participation bureau at the Ministry of health.
Kathleen Cho, Technical Advisor, Ministry of Health: “The good news is that we have the technical personnel already familiar with the guidelines that we would be implementing at schools and communities. So we have individuals from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education from the Belize Red Cross Society and SIF and so we will start by having a national consultation and a reviewing of the standard operating procedures and it would serve more of a guideline or a tool that we could use in the schools and in the communities to help us maintain and sustain the work that we have been doing already. So we’ve been talking about the education component and now it’s just to strengthen that with the standard operating procedure. So I think one key key thing there is to have that consultation with all the stakeholders who would be benefiting from the standard operating procedures. The education messages keep coming, we keep pushing these messages especially know with the public health concern that we have around COVID- 19. So again, we keep stressing the importance of hand-washing and good hand hygiene practices.”
Love News also spoke to a representative from the United Nations Children’s fund, Denise Robateau who put a deadline on said initiative.
Denise Robateau, United Nations Children’s Fund:“This document will be a guideline so that all stakeholders can have and say these are some of the things we need to consider when we look at supporting the remodeling of bathrooms or construction of bathrooms or when we look at the communication that needs to go out there. At this point in time we have the COVID-19 that is a scare not only for us but for the world and this multisectoral body this initiative has communication materials vetted by the Ministry of Health that go out into the communities, into the schools, trainings are taking place for example on hand washing on what to do and the different stakeholders work together. If we have one standard operating procedures then we have sort of like one guide to consider and to ensure that we are not missing out on certain actions.”
Reporter: Okay so for now you’re just in the discussion phase ?
Denise Robateau, United Nations Children’s Fund:“We are right now developing it, we have a consultant on board developing the framework. We hope to launch this work on by the end of April or May.”
The initiative is pioneered by the Ministry of Health, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization, and several other stakeholders.