While they say, a man’s main duty is to provide food on the table, Ben Mara father of one has made a lifetime decision to move beyond this and ensure that his family eats healthy food, live in a clean and healthy village, sleep inside mosquito nets and constantly practice hygiene behaviours.
This has paid off, with increases in the number of diarrhoea cases registered with Good Samaritan Hospital (GSH) in the past three weeks for many communities along the plain, not a single child from Mara’s village, Tumbosa in the North East Guadalcanal Province, has been reported for diarrhoea to date (31st May 2021).
Mara said that after being appointed as the village health promoter under the Health Promoting Village Project led by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services with support from Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) he has learnt so much.
“I have learnt about many health issues that my own village was facing at the time and more importantly that the solutions lie within ourselves. Since then, our village worked hard and together ensuring that our surroundings are well kept, clean and healthy, mosquito nets used at night and properly tucked away in the morning, frequent hand washing with soap before eating and after using the toilets, and also growing of healthy root crops and vegetables around our homes which we eat”, stated Mara.
Registered nurse at the GSH Mr. Rex Saemae who accompanied the project team to Tumbosa this week told the community that he was taken by surprise and very impressed.
“We have been receiving inflow of sick children with diarrhoea in the past three weeks and I am excited to inform you all that there is no child recorded from Tumbosa. I am very happy indeed with this project and the benefits that we are seeing now”, said Mr. Saemae.
The general scenery at the village was one of cleanliness and beauty with healthy looking and active families.
The MHMS through its Guadalcanal Provincial Health Promotion Team together with JICA’s Chief Advisor for the project Dr. Ken Hashimoto presented the results of the project to the community, comparing results from baseline and end line survey conducted for Tumbosa which includes;
The Health Promoting Village Project was implemented in 15 communities, 6 in Guadalcanal and 9 in Makira-Ulawa Provinces to empower communities to make a healthy village model that prevents health issues and promotes healthy lifestyles and lead the way to a healthy, happy and productive country.
Though JICA’s financial and technical support towards the project has come to an end (June 2021), the products from the project, sets of policies, guidelines, training and education manuals on how to transform villages, markets, schools and workplaces to become healthy settings have been finalised endorsed and launched for nationwide rollout as of last week.
At the launch Health Permanent Secretary Mrs. Pauline McNeil in thanking the Government of Japan for the assistance, assured that the Ministry through its Health Promotion Department remains committed with budgetary allocations and relevant capacity in place to upscale the project to other communities.
The Ministry of Health have received reports of increases of diarrhoea cases at the GSH and continue to respond accordingly through the Guadalcanal provincial health team.