Grace Nabenga Lufu is a 31-year-old nurse who has worked at Kakora Health Centre in the Nyanghwale District in Tanzania for the last seven years. Her work has had its challenges. The health centre lacked water, toilets, incinerators, and placenta pits. As a medical practitioner, Grace knew that she was supposed to wash her hands with soap before and after every procedure. However, this proved to be very difficult when the centre had no water. In order to practice safe sanitation and hygiene, she would use a bucket, which required another person to pour the water while washing her hands.
In June 2018, the dispensary received running water pumped by a solar power system that WaterAId Tanzania installed through the Canada-Africa Initiative to Address Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality project, funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada. This also provides Kakora Primary School and the surrounding community with safe water all the time. “I am excited about all these improvements in our dispensary. Sanitation and hygiene conditions have greatly improved. We have a new incinerator for burning medical waste and we also have a newly constructed placenta pit,” says Grace.
Today, practicing safe hygiene is much easier for Grace. “I just open the tap and water flows. We have a big water tank reservoir, so we have water all the time.” Grace has also had the opportunity to acquire new skills and advance her professional development as a nurse practitioner. She has been trained in taking care of children below the age of five, trained in community health care focusing on maternal health practices and is also trained in proper medical waste management.
The Canada-Africa Initiative to Address Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality is a partnership among four Canadian organizations – Amref Health Africa, Children Believe (formerly Christian Children’s Fund of Canada), Centre for Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and WaterAid Canada – with $24.9 million in support from the Government of Canada over four years