Five-star toilets help health centre set new standards of hygiene

Five-star toilets help health centre set new standards of hygiene

Some of the cleanest and smartest toilets in the whole Bongo district are found at Foe Community Health and Planning Services (CHPS). This community health post serves more than 2,280 people in four communities across an area stretching up to the border with Burkina Faso.

Isaac Adita has been Principal Enrolled Nurse since 2016 - a time when the CHPS centre had neither running water nor effective sanitation. Mothers had to fetch water themselves or get relatives to deliver to them. Instruments could not be washed easily and mothers and nurses had nowhere to clean themselves up after delivery.

WaterAid Ghana – with funding from Canada and support from Bongo District Assembly – brought clean piped water to the health centre in 2017 through a mechanised borehole. In 2019 they added a toilet block and a brick kiln for burning sharps and some waste. The whole system is connected underground to a biogas unit that will eventually supply cooking gas to the staff quarters for cooking.

Isaac Adita says that this is one of the most popular CHPS in for women to deliver. Patients have a shower and toilet next to the delivery room. They can wash themselves and their clothes before returning home with their babies. “I am very, very, very happy,” he said. “We used to have water shortages and staff walked to fetch water before they came to work.”

Infection control is a major objective and it is now easy to sterilise instruments and keep the centre clean. For the patients, liquid soap and toilet rolls are provided. “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” says Isaac Adita. “Health workers have to ensure that the structure is clean enough to reduce infection so we also educate the community on how to use the toilet facilities any time they visit.

Material prepared by a team from the Ghana National Development Planning Commission and IRC Ghana.