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Maternal Health Blog

CARE's Learning Tour Visits Water And Sanitation Projects In Ghana

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Giulia McPherson is traveling in Liberia and Ghana on a CARE Learning Tour, a comprehensive, multi-day tour for policymakers and those who can influence policy to gain firsthand knowledge of the core issues poor communities face. She is the Deputy Director for Citizen Advocacy with CARE USA”s Policy and Advocacy Unit. To learn more about the Learning Tours Program, please visit: www.care.org/learningtours.

Unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene are major causes of diarrhea among children under five in Ghana. About 5.5 million people in Ghana – more than half of the urban population – live in slum settlements. Due to the informal nature of these settlements, water supply and sanitation services are inadequate.

On the last day of this CARE Learning Tour, the delegation visited programs that provide effective health care solutions, including the Queen Mothers Association, which focuses on clean water hygiene practices in the Western region of Ghana.

[Queen Mothers]

Queen Mothers in Ghana are traditional leaders for girls and women and have a great deal of influence within their community. They are taught proper hand washing techniques and basic sanitation practices with the support of Ghana”s Regional Health Department, which they then teach to others in their community. Hand washing stations have also been strategically placed within the marketplace to prevent the outbreak of disease like chronic diarrhea and cholera.

“Once we have the women with us, we will succeed in what we are trying to do’ – Dr. Linda Vanotoo, Western Regional Health Department Director, Ghana Health Service.

[Hand Washing Station within the Marketplace]

On this final day of the Learning Tour, the delegation viewed another example of innovative programming that engages the community in solutions that work to address their most pressing challenges. Through this sustainable and community-driven approach, Ghana has been able to tackle one of the country”s most life-threatening obstacles.

Posted by kporter@care.org on Jan 17, 2012 1:16 PM US/Eastern

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