More than 52,000 Ethiopians are served by Shey Bench and Chebera Health Centers in the Bench Maji Zone where, for weeks out of the year, they are left without access to clean and safe water. In December 2017, VHP assessed WASH and maternal health infrastructure in these facilities and found that women are delivering in environments where water and sanitation are inaccessible, increasing risk of infection and disease for mothers and newborns, all of which is preventable.
Water-borne illnesses and improper hygiene leading to infection/disease are avoidable if access to, and implementation of water, sanitation, and hygiene practices exist. Increasing both storage and access to clean/safe water enables providers to wash hands in between patients, sanitize surgical equipment, and utilize clean surfaces for delivery, improving maternal health outcomes. Hand washing stations, water storage tanks, and taps are critical in this effort.
In tandem with the Ethiopian Government, on-the-ground Ethiopian partners, and Engineers Without Borders, VHP will increase access to clean and safe water for pregnant women, neonates, and ultimately, the 52,000 people who utilize the Shey Bench and Chebera Health Centers in the BMZ yearly. In 2018/2019 VHP will work to implement WASH and Maternal Health Initiatives in a total of 5 health centers in the BMZ, including one District Hospital, impacting the health of 250,000 - 300,000 people.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).