Problems

The 2018 floods which affected Kerala between July to August 2018 wrecked unprecedented havoc to the state, with incessant rainfall and landslides. Additionally, the opening of dams across the state rendered thousands of families’ homeless overnight.

Solutions

The programme aims at equipping the most vulnerable communities with water resource management, Water and Sanitation for Health (WaSH) facilities and building capacities of health workers, with a specific focus on mental health. Over a period of six months, the following interventions are being implemented-

1. Water and Sanitation Facilities

The program ensures that the water and sanitation facilities delivered are used properly to prevent the spread of disease and enable a rapid supply of clean water to households. More than 45 wells were cleaned as a part of the process. Also more than 10 wells were rehabilitated.

This intervention was undertaken after an in-depth site selection and sanitation surveys. Wells were restored after repair, and rehabilitation was done with apron construction (retrofitting). Online chlorination units and community level water filters were also installed. Once wells are restored, local communities are educated on the importance of well maintenance to ensure that water facilities are maintained properly to prevent any disease outbreak and supply of clean water to the local families.

2. Awareness and training 

Water and Sanitation for Health (WASH) Training sessions were held for the entire village to build awareness around issues of water testing and water quality monitoring at the household level, drinking water sour-super chlorination, information on water borne diseases and water handling practices, and avoiding communicable diseases by making changes to hygiene practices. After such sessions, WASH committees are formed with detailed roles and respo-nsibilities. A focus is laid on gender-balanced committees.

3. Capacity building for Health Workers

ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) workers have been mobilised and included in the programme, to share information on reducing communicable diseases and improving the health status in villages. They are trained to conduct awareness campaigns and orientation programs at the community level, by using practical demonstrations and flash cards. Topics such as personal hygiene practices, supporting lactating and pregnant mothers, immunisation, improving antenatal and postnatal care service delivery, etc. are covered in these sessions. Coordination with Government health workers at the district level forms an integral part of the programme. An additional focus of the programme is to train 25 community mental health workers and non-specialised health workers on Mental Health.

Journey So Far

-       45 wells supporting more than 1,531 families cleaned

-       105 social health workers trained

-       114 beneficiaries trained on good health practices