A major failing in the current WASH programme in Haiti today is that although ‘safe’ drinking water may be coming out of the tap, hand-pump or Bio San Filter outlet, re-contamination is clearly still a huge challenge, because of poor handling and storage of drinking water so that the water is not ‘safe’ at all by the time it is actually swallowed! Your CHCs are clearly addressing this critically important and life-threatening issue.
A delegation from CAWST and Africa AHEAD-UK visited your CHCs in Jerusalem, Canaan, on the 14th December 2017 . We witnessed just one of the 20 preventative health topics that are covered during the twenty-week CHC programme. Each of the 20 health topics is reflected on the CHC Membership Card that is signed off and dated when each specific health topic is covered by a household during the weekly CHC meetings. These meetings cover a period of around six months and require many sanitary improvements in the home resulting in Healthy Homes and Healthy Communities that develop a Common-Unity of purpose with self-reliance)
It was a very happy occasion and so rewarding to see how well your CHC members now fully understand that one specific topic that covers the 5 main main disease transmission routes for diarrhoea and cholera and how well they are actually putting this new vital knowledge into practice in their daily lives.
A number of key people in Haiti have expressed a keen interest to find out how your model can be further adopted and rolled out across Haiti at scale. Right now DINEPA is busy developing a new Roadmap to promote a far more integrated approach to WASH in Haiti (i.e. safe drinking water + improved sanitation + hygiene behaviour change…. and not just promotion of hygiene knowledge (through ICE) which is as we all know, does not in itself always lead to changed healthy behaviours!!
I also think it will be important for many of the key WASH players in Haiti to actually visit your CHCs in the New Year and also visit the homes of CHC members so that they can better understand the transformation and health impact that your CHCs are already having in Haiti through your 253 Clubs – especially when it comes to safe storage and safe handling of water.
On behalf of the group, I want to say it was a pleasure to witness your wonderful efforts in Haiti over these past few years since you first found out about the CHC model for achieving sustainable hygiene behaviour change. The spirit and energy of your CHCs was absolutely amazing to see for ourselves. Well done Jude and Marie and thank you both so much for a really wonderful and inspiring afternoon!!