an expectant mother drinking water from a cup

EKCEP: COVID-19 Response Edition | Gwagwalada Project

The EKCEP: COVID-19 Response Edition | Gwagwalada Project was carried out in partnership with Community–Based Initiative for Growth and Sustainability (C-BIGS), an NGO based in Abuja and an EnvironFocus implementation partner. The project’s objective was to provide the maternity unit of a PHC facility with access to safe drinking water via an improved drinking water source (instant microbial water filter). C-BIGS’s role included the identification of a Primary Health Care (PHC) facility within its service area. They were also required to successfully handover the instant microbial water filter donated by the students to the maternity unit of the PHC. The Maternity unit of PHC Town Clinic Gwagwalada in Abuja, Nigeria, was the identified beneficiary of the project.

The importance of access to safe drinking water cannot be overemphasized during this COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to COVID-19, there is the ongoing impact of climate change, which is currently affecting the livelihood of the people resulting in extreme changes in weather conditions reducing access to clean water. These Conditions exacerbate situations where vulnerabilities such as the increased spread of waterborne and water-related diseases are already on the rise because of the rainy season from June to September. In cases like these, expectant mothers are the most vulnerable.

There is also chronic underfunding and limited infrastructure available in the Nigerian health care system. As such, only 5% of the healthcare facilities have combined essential water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities on-premises. In health centres in Nigeria, like the Town Clinic Gwagwalada, patients’ source for their drinking water supply to take their medicine.

The Handover to the Maternity unit of Town Clinic Gwagwalada

On the day of handover, Joy Olagundoye, Executive Director, C-BIGS, addressed the expectant mothers and educated them on clean water and its benefits. She also demonstrated how the instant microbial water filter worked and then handed over the instant microbial water filter to the Matron of the unit. More about the handover can be seen via the video and pictures below.

Video from the handover by C-BIGS

EKCEP: COVID-19 Response Edition | Gwagwalada Project outcomes

It is excellent to know that the instant microbial water filter at the maternity unit has enabled the following:

  • mothers drink their medicines with ease at the clinic with no concerns about illnesses associated with drinking unsafe water such as diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, worms, and measles
  • reduced the risk of expectant mothers with HIV/AIDS contacting cryptosporidiosis because the water filter removes cryptosporidium. This protozoan parasite causes watery diarrhea, which has developed a resistance to chlorine
  • increased the quantity of safe drinking water available to the mothers at no additional cost to them. This is because of the type of water filter donated, being a climate-resilient product, heavily microbial contaminated water from any source can be instantly purified and made potable. 
  • Expectant mothers do not have to spend their limited resources on drinking water while at the clinic.

The project addressed the following UN2030 SDGs: Good health and well being (SDG 3), Gender Equality (SDG5), Access to Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG6), Climate Action (SDG13), Partnership for Goals (SDG17)

About C-BIGS

C-BIGS (Community – Based Initiative for Growth and Sustainability) is a local non-profit organization based in Abuja, Nigeria. Its head office is in Abuja and with regional offices across Nigeria. The organization is set up with the mission to promote and implement in partnership with other organizations sustainable care and support programs for women, children and youth in the society. Their objectives are to:

  • mobilize resources for the support and social protection of vulnerable women and children.
  • improve health and mitigate the effects of HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and other diseases on women, children and youth in communities.
  • improve livelihood skills of women and youth.
  • promote women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health rights.
  • increase awareness on the importance WASH management in rural communities.

EKCEP: COVID-19 Response Edition was funded by the Rotary Club of Brampton, DIstrict 7080. More information about EKCEP can be viewed at www.environfocus.com/EKCEP and information about EnvironFocus can be viewed at www.environfocus.com.

Obie Agusiegbe
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