A three-day community Health and Hygiene awareness program has been completed in communities in the Mbahomea region of Central Guadalcanal.
The session were a part of the Gender Action Plan (GAP) initiative for the Tina River Hydro Development Project which has been running for the past 2 years alongside the preparation phase of the larger Project. GAP is in place to promote equal opportunities for both women and men to participate and receive projects benefits and continues to provide opportunities for women, in particular, to be involved with and be positively impacted by this nation-building project. Women and young girls in communities from Managikiki, Antioch Tina, Verabariki and Nhongoti area were invited to the sessions with over 300 people attending over the 3 days.
The Health and Hygiene awareness sessions in the Bahomea area aims to help improve community members understanding of the importance of good health, what it means to have good hygiene, a clean environment and value personal hygiene during the COVID –19 pandemic.
According to Helen Dolaiano, the Project's Gender Focal Point and Community Liaison Officer, the Health and Hygiene sessions are a result of action being taken from issues voiced during prior community meetings. “Health and hygiene problems were continuously raised during previous GAP consultations and because of that, this program was developed,” she said.
Importantly, Mrs. Dolaiano stressed that the awareness session is an excellent opportunity for the rural community people to connect with Government ministries such as the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and that people are aware of what services are provided by the Solomon Islands Government at the national level.
According to Sharon Para, President of the Mbahomea Zone 3 Women's Association, one of the major aims of the health awareness campaign is to enhance community members' knowledge of fundamentals connected to personal and community health, hygiene and environment. “As president of the Mbahomea Zone 3 Women’s Association, I believe that this awareness session is very important because it will help community women to be more knowledgeable about health, clean environment and hygiene practices during the COVID 19.”
The workshops are being facilitated by he Mbahomea Zone 3 Women’s Association on behalf of the Project Office and in collaboration with the Health Promotion team at the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.