The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) together with UNICEF recently conducted a session for media organizations in aid to address open defecation through the phase two roll out of the National Sustainable Sanitation Plan (NSSP) in three main provinces Malaita, Western and Central.
The session aimed to increase knowledge and strengthen partnership with media personnel, through providing brief over view of the NSSP roll out phase and updating the current status for sanitation and hygiene practices; referenced to the JMP data’s and the current censer report on WASH coverage in Solomon Islands. Mainly Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach that is being adopted by the MHMS to address the opened defecation practices in the country. We also provides capacity building like organizing training for implementing partners (NGOs) etc.
Ministry of Health, WASH Coordinator, Mr. Paul Muller explained that the meeting with media personnel is one way to achieve the objectives; through increased knowledge of the NSSP program and CLTS approach.
“In addition to strengthen partnership with media group and how they can be part of the NSSP program and ways to convey successful stories from the program and advocacy on the importance of sanitation and hygiene”, further explained Mr. Muller.
Sanitation Coordinator, Mr. Muller said the session is important since in phase one of the NSSP most partners and media were not really involved, which results in less promotion of the NSSP successful stories relaying to the public and the benefit of CLTS programs to motivate people to prioritize sanitation and practice proper hygiene.
“Media or social media plat form is one of the avenues that can reach everybody in any matter that concerns the public. Thus it is vital that they should be part of the NSSP phase two roll out”, said Mr. Muller.
He outlined what is expected of the participants after the session are; partnership for promotion and advocacy of Sanitation and Hygiene programs, and the involvement in the NSSP program for sharing and publishing successful stories of CLTS programs and witnessing NOD celebrations.
“We are looking forward to continue partnership in this program as we are contributing to help the people in our country that still need information and support from us in terms of sanitation and hygiene. Sanitation is biblical thus, by God’s grace we will support and encourage people to prioritize building their toilets and along with proper hygiene practices to reach the SDG goals by 2030”, said Muller.