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As we write this newsletter, we recognize the efforts of many of our colleagues in the response to the crisis in the Horn of Africa. Our hearts go out to all those affected. Below we have included links to information resources for those who would like to learn more about current relief efforts.
In this newsletter we have also issued a call for interest for Co-Convenors of Network Working Groups in the areas of Advocacy, Capacity Building and Knowledge Advancement. The Secretariat also wishes to thank all of those that submitted emails of interest for the Monitoring & Evaluation Working Group, for which the Co-Convenors will be announced shortly.
The Horn of Africa is experiencing the most severe food crisis in the world today. Over 12 million people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are severely affected and in urgent need of humanitarian aid and the situation is continuing to deteriorate. Current financial requirements are US$2.5 billion, of which half is unfunded. Continuous under-funding will seriously hamper efforts to respond to increasing levels of malnutrition and low access to safe water. Approximately 50% of communities in drought-affected areas can no longer afford clean water provision due to deteriorating household incomes. In the driest areas water trucking is required. Water treatment is essential.
UN-OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) has detailed current humanitarian requirements in the region. Download the July 2011 report here
WHO has published a public health risk assessment to provide organizations and individuals involved in humanitarian aid with up-to-date technical guidance on the major public health threats faced by the populations affected by the drought and famine conditions in the Horn of Africa. Download the July 2011 guidance document here
UNICEF is leading or co-leading numerous cluster efforts in WASH, nutrition, and education across the region and has published Humanitarian Action Updates on 8 July and 24 July to provide information on these efforts.
ReliefWeb offers maps, graphics and compiles news and reporting on international and local efforts to provide insight on the latest status of humanitarian crises worldwide. News can be filtered by country, theme, date published, language and more. Visit ReliefWeb’s Horn of Africa crisis page
In light of issues raised at the recent regional HWTS workshop in Uganda and national HWTS workshop in Cambodia, the Secretariat would like to take the opportunity to activate Network Working Groups on the topics of Advocacy, Capacity Building and Knowledge Advancement and is calling for expressions of interest from prospective Co-Convenors. The formation of the groups is in line with the Network’s Phase II Strategy (available for download from our information resources page).
Those interested in serving as a co-convener of a Network Working Group are asked to email Michael Forson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Maggie Montgomery (email@example.com) a few sentences summarizing your (1) understanding/experience with the relevant topic (advocacy, capacity-building or knowledge advancement) and (2) passion in co-convening this working group. Emails of interest should be sent by 15 August 2011.
Co-conveners will invite working group members, considering all interested individuals and also considering diversity in relevant skill sets, gender and geographic backgrounds. The working group will have the flexibility in deciding on a small number of discrete tasks to complete, with guidance from the Secretariat on suggested items. Periodic updates on progress will be provided to the Network online and at various meetings and workshops.
In this publication, WHO presents global criteria to evaluate options for household water treatment in terms of their potential to sufficiently reduce waterborne pathogens to protect health. A range of risk-based water quality targets are introduced to assist policy-makers and practitioners in selecting options suited to local conditions. Download the document here
The 300in6 Initiative will be hosting a seminar, reception and exhibit stand for HWTS stakeholders during the upcoming World Water Week in Stockholm, from August 21-27.
On Monday 22 August (13h30-16h30) there will be a seminar on ‘Scaling-up water treatment at the household and the community level’ where guest speakers will give updates on trends in a) technology options, and b) community water points / retail outlets such as kiosks. The seminar shall also track the emerging policy framework on national scaling-up of HWTS. Following the seminar, there will be a reception at 18h00, for which an RSVP is required.
During the World Water Week proceedings, you may also visit the 300in6 Initiative’s stand in the exhibit area. The stand will have news on the Initiative’s progress since 2010 and access to refreshed versions of their publications.
To RSVP or for further details please contact Christian Vousvouras.
Adding to earlier discussions on this topic in our newsletters, this month we are featuring a Uganda-based clinic and the recent WASHPlus Weekly newsletter from USAID. Information is being compiled in our EZCollab forum and we invite Network participants to continue contributing their experiences in this area.
Alive Medical Services – HWTS program for PLWHA
In early 2010, Alive Medical Services (AMS) a clinic site for Keep A Child Alive in Kampala, Uganda, with the help of Procter and Gamble introduced a HWTS program as a new element of their integrated approach to provide comprehensive HIV/AIDS care. Their HWTS program includes distribution of PUR and education about water treatment, handling and consumption. Patients have access to group demonstrations and/or individual consultations about how to properly practise HWTS.
The AMS HWTS strategy works together with the AMS nutrition program and treatment of HIV and opportunistic infections. Proper HWTS and nutrition drastically improves absorption of medication, decreases some medication side effects and increases patient adherence to medication regimen.
Since the beginning of their HWTS program, AMS has provided 2,000 households with HWTS education and materials. The staff members at AMS see significant improvement in the health of their HWTS participants. Overall, AMS has seen a 70-percent decrease in cases of diarrhoea among patients who practise HWTS consistently. In the coming months, AMS seeks to add an additional 500 households onto their HWTS program and expand their education about HWTS to reach more patients and community members.
If you would like to learn more, please visit the AMS website or download a presentation overview of the program from the EZCollab discussion on HWTS and HIV/AIDS. Comments welcome.
WASHplus Weekly: Focus on HIV/AIDS and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
WASHplus Weekly (Issue 16 from July 15, 2011) highlighted recent reports and journal articles that discuss the integration of water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH) with HIV/AIDS programs. It includes a comprehensive guide from USAID and WHO on integrating WASH practices into HIV care. A Cochrane Review of home-based care for HIV/AIDS patients found that home-based safe water systems reduced diarrhea frequency and severity. Also included are training manuals prepared by the USAID AIDSTAR Project and the Institute of Water and Sanitation Development in Zimbabwe. Click to view
A large proportion of urban and peri-urban residents in Dedaye Town, Ayeyarwaddy Division purchase their domestic water supply from water vendors. Water is collected from highly contaminated community ponds and transported to households on rickety wooden carts housing rusty, 50-gallon, recycled oil drums.
This pilot study was conducted to determine whether pond water treated with Sanosil, a combination of hydrogen peroxide and silver, can effectively provide safe drinking water at the point of consumption without requiring behaviour change from consumers. Initial results have been encouraging and further funding has been secured.
In 2011, Oxfam intends to scale up the project in Dedaye and encourage all full-time water vendors in the town to offer Sanosil treated water to their customers. The project will be funded under the Oxfam GB 2011 Innovation Fund and if successful will develop a model for scale-up by the private sector in other urban and peri-urban areas of Myanmar.
Thanks to ThirstAid for sharing this report, now available on EZCollab. Click here to download and comment on the report.
The Global Water Initiative’s Mi Cuenca Program is supporting a study to investigate household water treatment methods currently available in the private and public sector in Central America, as well as the associated knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to HWT in the region. The investigation will also briefly explore promising, cost-effective water treatment innovations at the household and community levels that could be applied to this region’s context. If you are interested in collaborating on this study, or have research / connections to share, please contact Sarah Romorini.
Congress & Exhibition: 21-24 November, 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia