A civil society organization, Liberia Wash Consortium and SHALOM, have pledged support to WaterAid Liberia for the launching of the ‘Healthy Start’ program, which is intended to serve as a fundamental building block of a prosperous and healthy society in Liberia.
The program, which was held Tuesday in Careysburg, brought together CSOs, government officials as well as WaterAid partners.
Mrs. Pate K. Chon, who spoke on behalf of all WaterAid partners, said they would continue to advocate for access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene in all health institutions in the country.
Mrs. Chon said SHALOM and all other partners will remain committed to Liberia’s development by contributing to more success stories, to make the country a better place for everyone.
“We will provide WASH in schools and healthcare institutions in all parts of the country, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, through local community structures, to ensure that better hygiene practices are observed,” she assured.
All partner organizations would also help to persuade the Liberian government to improve reproductive, maternal, and newborn and child health in the country, which is paramount to sustaining healthy life for the general population.
Mrs. Chon noted, “The Healthy Start program launched by WaterAid Liberia for the next four years will improve health and nutrition of newborn babies and children and prevent the next crisis by giving the children in school a healthy start.
“The right to clean water and hygiene is a right to life,” she added.
She stressed that proper hygiene, which was promoted during the recent Ebola epidemic, is falling away.
“As we arrive at the tail end of the Ebola epidemic, we must not forget what brought us here and the lessons we have learnt should be stamped on our national consciousness. These lessons define the situation of Liberia at present,” Mrs. Chon indicated.
Also speaking, the team leader of WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone, Chuchu Selma, said water, sanitation and hygiene services are fundamental to human survival and as such they must be given priority as a human rights issue.
He added, “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 locally and nationally.”
“We also plan to do this in collaboration with the MOH, through local organizations working within the health and WASH sector,” he emphasized.