There were 794 press releases posted in the last 24 hours and 392,088 in the last 365 days.

Sudan Humanitarian Fund helps a family gain health and hygiene awareness

Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Download logo

“Now, we go less to the hospital and spend less money on medicine,” says 32-year-old Rehab Jamal Badawi in El Madures, Kreinik locality in West Darfur, Sudan, sharing the positive impact of new hygiene practices taught by international non-governmental organization Triangle Génération Humanitaire (TGH).  

The mother of four says that attending the hygiene awareness promotion sessions by TGH in Kreinik was a life-changing experience, as they prompted her to become a health promoter in her community.  

The hygiene promotion activities were part of a multisectoral project by TGH that was funded by the Sudan Humanitarian Fund, which integrated water, sanitation and hygiene, food security and livelihoods, and education support for people in Geneina Town who have been displaced for a long time as a result of intercommunal violence.

Following the training in March 2020, Rehab observed that she and her children required fewer hospital visits. Prior to the training, her family members suffered frequent bouts of malaria, diarrhea or eye problems. “We often had to go to the hospital, and treatment was expensive!” she says.

Rehab was one of the more than 50,000 people reached with hygiene promotion messages. The messages were disseminated through mass events in markets and schools. Door-to-door sessions were also conducted for specific cases, such as for internally displaced persons who could not be reached through the markets or schools, families with malnourished children, and families practicing open defecation, among other special needs situations. 

The mass messaging was done by 15 Hygiene Key Promoters trained by TGH. They raised awareness on personal hygiene, hand washing and the use of latrines. When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, TGH reacted by including messages concerning transmission of COVID-19 and related hygiene practices. 

At the hygiene sessions, Rehab learned the critical moments for washing hands and proper hand-washing techniques. She started to fetch clean water from El Zohr or Kreinik market water yards that were constructed by TGH. After learning that mosquitoes were breeding in the pots and the tall grass near the house, which increased the risk of malaria to her family, she cut the grass and shrubs around the house and emptied and moved the unused pots. She also started using mosquito nets during the night.

During the 2020 rainy season (June to October), Rehab saw a huge improvement: her family members did not fall sick, she did not have to go to the hospital, and they saved money on expensive medicine, which could now be used for household expenses.

During the hot season, Rehab would previously suffer from eye problems, and sometimes this would also affect her children. She used to go to the hospital to get treatment. One day, a TGH Health Key Promoter visited Rehab and explained how eye problems can be transmitted through lack of hygiene. Rehab has taken measures to control eye disease transmission.

Having participted regularly at hygiene promotion events and implemented what she learned, Rehab shared her newly acquired knowledge with her family, friends and neighbours. In December 2020, she was supported by TGH Hygiene Key Promotors to conduct a formal hygiene session in her community on health, hygiene and sanitation practices.

“It is really important for me now to share the knowledge I learned with my community. I want to contribute to reduce diseases in Kreinik!” she concludes.

The Sudan Humanitarian Fund is a multi-donor, country-based pooled fund managed by OCHA Sudan under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator. The fund collects donor contributions to make funding directly available to humanitarian partners working on the ground so they can deliver timely and effective life-saving assistance and protection to the most vulnerable people in need.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).