Volunteers with Trumpeter Community Health (TCH), AID’s sanitation partner in South Sudan, have been getting their crucial health messages out on a larger scale through a 6 day campaign in Juba this June. Every year easily preventable diseases, such as cholera, diarrhea and pneumonia, claim lives in South Sudan: since 2016, 194 people have died from cholera across the country. The volunteers, known as Trumpeters, work hard to make people aware of how practices such as drinking dirty water and going to the loo in the open, can cause illnesses such as cholera.
Hands, Loos and Water
Through 6 days of talks and practical demonstrations in 6 different market places across Juba, the Trumpeters taught children, young people and adults about the whys and hows of hand-washing, the value of using a loo and how to turn muddy water into a fresh mountain spring (well almost!).
“The public also became happy when they were shown how to treat water… this has never been clear to them before but as of now, it is understood” reported Remijo Lado Lino, director of TCH.
The Trumpeters also emphasised the importance of breast feeding and taught locals how to make oral re-hydration solutions which can save the lives of children suffering from diarrhea. They gave out flyers and urged all who attended to go home, put what they learnt into practice and share it with others.
The campaign proved very popular with the public who “overwhelming turned up for the sessions” (Remijo Lado Lino), so much so that the Trumpeters ran out of soap! The only thing stopping the people of Juba now is lack of supplies; simple items such as buckets can be extremely expensive in current inflation rates.
What a Load of Rubbish!
As well as doing public presentations, the Trumpeters visited homes of those unable to get out and also local restaurants. Business owners were particularly concerned about the spread of disease via rubbish heaps that build up across the city and so, in discussion with public health directors, they came up with a new scheme for rubbish to be collected from certain areas every two days.
“The area quarter councils recommended the efforts of Trumpeter Community Health in this hygiene promotion initiative. They hope this time cholera will not come up again “ said the chairman of Lologo (an area of Juba).
The Trumpeters hope that through communicating these simple messages they will see a great improvement in health in Juba with fewer dying from cholera, diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria.