New Latrine And Hand Washing Stations In Thomonde, Haiti

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The activity of washing hands became more than just a routine matter of hygiene in Thomonde recently. It became a symbolic gesture to emphasize the impending end of the epidemic of cholera and other intestinal diseases that has plagued the country for far too long.

A community got together and washed hands, inaugurating the newly built latrine and station for hand washing built in Thomonde village at the Rezo Koze Lasante clinic. It was to coincide with the activities for World Hand Washing Day and was funded by the AmeriCares Haiti foundation. The construction was a step in the bigger project of making the health care of the community better so as to stem the tide of transmission of these diarrheal diseases.

A water reservoir, plus a system for harvesting rain water was installed, also was a septic tank, a water tank with the capacity to hold 400 gallons of water, and a three-cabin toilet with 4 latrine stalls. These new facilities will help those in the town, numbering around 13,500, gain access to better health and hygiene, which will lower the instances of child deaths caused by diarrhea each year. It is estimated that 1.5 million children succumb to these kinds of illnesses each year, totaling more than the casualties of AIDS, measles and malaria combined.

The estimates say that the installation of these types of facilities can reduce the instances of death by diarrhea by more than a third. For Thomonde, the rural town close to Haiti's border with the Dominican Republic, which has only a clinic as its primary care facility, every washed hand could mean a few saved lives.

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