When we recently visited the health clinic in Bofel (a remote village in Senegal), the committee there told us that the most common complaint people came to see them with was the flu.
Before The Hunger Project led community discussions about the importance of using mosquito nets, the most common complaint had been malaria and diarrhoea.
Along with educational talks, The Hunger Project made sure nets were accessible to the community and developed an action plan in collaboration with our village partners to help transform sanitation levels, cleanliness, skills and education. Now people are using toilets instead of practising open defecation. Because human waste is no longer contaminating the streets of the village, the incidence of diarrhoea and the spread of other diseases has decreased.
Before The Hunger Project came to Bofel a year ago, there were only 13 toilets in the village. As part of the action plan, another 19 were built. 32 out of 35 households now have toilets in them and the health of people in the village is ever increasing.
The local sanitation team conducts check-ups in people’s homes, where they monitor for open defecation. Once per week, they do a village clean-up day; taking waste far from the village, to be burnt and the ashes buried. The village is much cleaner now and children can play without the risk of infection and illness. They are healthier than they have ever been, so they can go to school and become Boffel’s leaders for generations to come.