WaterAid Launches 4-Yr ‘Healthy Start’ Program

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WaterAid Liberia in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the County Health Team of Montserrado has launched a four-year ‘Healthy Start’ Program aimed at addressing access to safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene.

Water breaks the chain of disease transmission so access to pure, safe and clean water is important for every home, maintained Dehwehn O. Yeabah, Director of the Division of Environmental Occupational Health at the MOH.

He was speaking during a program yesterday at the Careysburg Health Center outside Monrovia where he

emphasized the need to prioritize the use of pure water in homes, clinics, hospitals and schools.

 “If safe water is adequately provided in all these places, including the rural areas, Liberia will have a healthy population far from water diseases,” assured Dr. Yeabah.”

Water is one of the reasons that Liberia continues to experience a high reduction of the deadly Ebola virus, he said, adding, all of us have to continue frequently washing hands and observing other preventive measures to achieve the worthy goal of Ebola eradication,” Director Yeabah stressed.

Also speaking, the team leader of WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone, Chuchu Selma, said his organization believes water, sanitation and hygiene services are fundamental to human survival and existence and as such it must be given priority as a human rights issue.

 “There is a poverty dimension where we see water, sanitation and hygiene as a way to lift poor people out of poverty. Where clean water, sanitation and good hygiene are lacking, improvements in health and nutrition are slow to start and hard to sustain,” he noted.

“Healthy Start is WaterAid’s four-year advocacy priority that focuses on improving the health and nutrition of newborn babies and children. We will do this by advocating for access to water, sanitation and hygiene promotion to be integrated into health policies and delivery locally and nationally.”

 “We plan to do this in collaboration with the MOH through local organizations working within the health and WASH sector,” he emphasized.

In remarks, the City Mayor of Careysburg, Anna Urey Philips, said the launch of the program in her city was unique especially within the vicinity of the clinic. Mayor Philips commended the program’s plan to provide water for the community as well.

“Today we are happy to have water through your organization. Water is life and we need to continue to support this initiative,” she added.

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