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The 2019 United Nations (UN) Day in The Gambia was commemorated as a week-long event. One of the objectives of this year’s celebration was to communicate the function of the United Nations to community people in a friendly manner. In doing this, the UN organised activities jointly-implemented with community people to demonstrate its mandate. In this regard, UNICEF led other UN sister agencies and community members in conducting environmental sanitation. This was aimed at showing the interconnections between having a clean environment, health and nutrition.

The environmental sanitation took place at the Soma Health Center and its environs in Lower River Region. The Soma Major Health Center, operates a 24-hour health service provision to the inhabitants in Soma. The center offers an in and out patients care services, laboratory services, maternal and child health, public health services; inclusive of eye care. The health facility serves an estimated population of 135,072 from 148 satellite villages.

The activity was conducted on Thursday, 24th October with a community entry through the health facility which is 10 minutes’ walk from the Governor’s office in Soma. The team was welcomed by the head of the health facility and community members mobilized to meet with the team at the health facility to conduct the environmental sanitation. UNICEF provided cleaning tools: waste bins, wheel barrows, rakes, cutlasses, brooms, detergents, antiseptics, gloves and scoops etc. Subsequently, after the cleaning of the environs all participants were taken through how to wash their hands properly using Tip taps for demonstration. Also, mothers were taught on how to use the Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) tap in assessing and categorizing their children’s nutritional status.

At the end of the activity, UNICEF presented the cleaning items to the head of the Soma health facility. We acknowledge all the community members who turned out for the cleaning, sister UN agencies, and the Resident Coordinator’s Office for their support in conducting the activity. 

UNICEF The Gambia/2019/ESecka

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