The South Saharan Social Development Organization (SSDO) and WaterAid Nigeria have trained facilitators on hygiene behavior change in Enugu communities hygiene behavioral change in communities in Enugu State.
Flagging the training open on Friday at Igbo-Eze North council area, the Executive Director of SSDO, Dr Stanley Ilechukwu, said that the training was meant to halt the spread of infectious diseases such as diarrhea, cholera and COVID-19 in target communities.
Ilechukwu said that the training would also support government’s efforts by consolidating on the gains and wins from previous projects meant to stop Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH)-related diseases in the state.
He said: “The training was designed to prepare facilitators for the community-based campaign under the Hygiene Behavior Change Coalition (HBCC) Phase II project.
“It covered behavior change analysis, theory of change, hand washing, food hygiene, safe use of water, and COVID-19 vaccine uptake.
“A community session manual would be used to teach the participants about the best approaches for community entry, program implementation, and creative approaches to achieve behavior change.”
Speaking, Mr Eta Eteta, WaterAid State Programme Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Officer, said that the objectives of the training was to introduce the Clean Family Campaign, its rituals and themes, the key behaviors the campaign reinforces through attractive and engaging ways.
“We intend to train facilitators on the designed HBCC intervention package for the HBCC II project and develop plans to roll out the pre-testing of the developed HBC tools in eight communities in Igbo-Eze North LGA. These facilitators will then go out to sensitize 24 communities within the LGA.
“This pre-test will help us gauge the preparedness of the facilitators as well as the effectiveness of the campaign resources before full implementation.
“The team will conduct a pre-intervention in selected communities and specific households, collecting feedback regarding the facilitation and content of the manual,” Eta said.
Speaking, SSDO WASH Programme Manager, Miss Obianuju Ezeike, said that the training would specifically focus on ensuring participants understood hygiene and its importance, adding that participants would be taught creative/innovative processes more likely to change behavior.
“Participants will understand the key elements of the universal behavior change approach; learn community entry strategy and how to implement it according to design; and sessions will be made participatory and interesting for facilitators,” she said.
According to her, the participants will be guided to practically understand the finalised packages through explanations, group simulation/rehearsal, and plenary presentation towards behaviour change.
This, she said, will help the participants apply all they have learnt to prevent and control spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, diarrhea, cholera, Lassa fever, among others, and bring dignity and good health to their people.
Ezeike said that after the training, participants would conduct a pre-test intervention in different communities and households to properly internalise the approach and collect feedback in a truly participatory monitoring and evaluation process.
A participant, Mrs Jane Alex-Ogbodo, said that the training has exposed her to the best approaches to convince people of the need to be hygiene conscious and ensure everyone around maintain a high level of cleanliness at all times.
“The training has better informed and equipped me on impactful ways of creating awareness on hygiene, sanitary and health issues around my community and anywhere I find myself in the state,” she noted.
The participants at the training were drawn from the Igbo-Eze North LGA WASH unit, the State Ministry of Health Epidemiology Unit, the Office of the State Director of Public Health and Primary Health Care Development Agency, among others.
The HBCC II project is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Unilever to combat new COVID-19 variants through hygiene behaviour change, rehabilitation, and construction of Hand Washing Facilities (HWFs).