Health Center Water Project – Rwanda
This project summary has been redacted for security reasons to omit the specific project location.
Rxxxxxxx Health Center, Rurengeri Cell, Mukamira Sector, Nyabihu District, Western Province, Rwanda
Rxxxxxxx Health Center, located in Rurengeri Cell, is the main facility providing health care services to the Mukamira population. Other providers include the health center facilities of neighboring sectors and hospitals located in larger cities.
The Rxxxxxxx Health Center’s catchment area encompasses one cell, which is comprised of 6 villages. These villages include Kabyaza, Kibugazi, Maziba, Rugarambiro, Rutovu, and Rwankeri. The health center provides services to approximately 2,500. individuals each month.
The history of the location is deeply connected to the Adventist church because majority of buildings and homes were developed by Adventist missionaries many years ago. There is no longer a missionary presence in the community, but for the most part the population is Adventist. As a result, the Health Center is located on a property that is in large owned by the Rwankeri Adventist Secondary School (the College), a secondary boarding school.
As it relates to the project, the school has a private water source that they use to supply water to the school compound and to all neighboring residential areas that are owned by the College. These areas house and provide water to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) NGO, and employees who live in the residential homes.
Currently, the Health Center uses water collected and stored in their rain water collection tanks, and the school gives the Health Center a small quantity of water from their private source each month. This water is stored and slowly utilized throughout the month for patient care services.
Over the past few years, the amount of water available at the College source has dwindled and the school is planning to cut off water supply to the Health Center. This is to ensure they have a steady supply of water for the school property and for the other areas they own. Although this has been difficult news for the Health Center, they understand that it is a step that needs to be done, and they have looked into alternative options for water access.
When the school source is cut off, the Health Center will only have their rain water collection tanks to rely on. This will create a problem during the dry season.
A Community Needs Assessment showed that 7 out of the top 10 health ailments treated at the center are related to poor hygiene and sanitation. These include various intestinal parasite infections, round worm infections, skin infection, urinary tract infections, eye infections, and dental infections. A large number of these ailments can be prevented with proper hygiene and water sanitation skills.
The Titulaire, engineer, plumber and PCV have found that the best option for water access at the Health Center is to build off of an existing water collection tank (Rxxxxxxx source) that is located approximately 700 meters away. The idea is to construct a foundation base with a 5,000L tank approximately 10 meters away from the clinic, and then to install a water pipe from the Rxxxxxxx Source and connect it to the tank. This tank will then be directly connected to a new patient service building located on the Health Center compound.
The Health Center will provide the 5,000L water tank and help to organize umuganda (community volunteer days) for the unskilled labor.
The new building is planned to house a number of services that will be moved there from older buildings on the compound. The majority of these services will directly focus on improving maternal and child health through the First 1000 days Initiative interventions. These services will include nutrition, vaccination, antenatal consultation (ANC), family planning, prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), and services related to the Integrated management of childhood illnesses (PCIME). Additional services will include dentistry, long term hospitalization and doctor consultation/visitation hours.
Following the connection of the water source, the new service building will officially be open and will be the main building housing behavior change communication (BCC) sessions and it will be the location of hygiene and sanitation training for HC staff, maternal community health workers (CHWs), as well as mothers and children in the First 1000 Days Program.
The first training will be for Health Center staff, to make sure everyone is following proper sanitation and hand washing protocol.
The second will ensure that the CHWs have the knowledge and ability to educate mothers within their community. This will help to reach a larger population of mothers and children, including those who are not able to come to the HC for hygiene and sanitation training.
The third training will be for mothers and children from the milk program, as well as other families from the community.
1,765 people will benefit from the project.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Monitoring and Maintenance
The Health Center will monitor the construction and use of the facilities, and perform all maintenance and repairs as necessary.
Overall, the new tank will provide the Health Center with a private source of water that they can store and access throughout the year for patient care use. This means that the source will primarily be used by health professionals to provide high quality and sanitary services for the population they service. The existing rain water collection tanks will continue to be used for the hygiene, sanitation and overall maintenance of the Health Center buildings and property.
This project has been made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor. Please donate to our other projects.