Community soap making to fight against diseases: The Vitamin A project in Badjer Village, Cameroon
-Soap making at Meiganga health district
"I am the president of the support group of 15 members in Badjer village. Our group is made up of mostly of women who have each had a child who experienced an episode of malnutrition. My own little girl developed Kwashiorkor and thankfully survived after multiple visits to the village hospital. Some of the children in our village had to seek medical care at the central hospital in Meiganga. Unfortunately, some didn’t survive. "
-Mrs. Sackbe Elisabeth, wife of the chief of the village of Badjer, Meiganga
Access to clean water and sanitation is a daily struggle for many vulnerable communities. According to the joint report by WHO and UNICEF (2022), https://washdata.org/, as many as three billion people do not have soap and water at home; 900 million children have no access to these essentials at school; and 40 per cent of healthcare facilities are not equipped to practice hand washing properly.
To halt the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases and to meet the refugees' water and sanitation needs, AHA has scaled up its efforts to promote health and hygiene in the Meiganga health district, which has an inadequate and overburdened healthcare system.
“Children under the age of five, pregnant women, chronically ill people, and 4,673 refugees were among the 70,006 refugees who received healthcare. Furthermore, micro-nutrient supplements were given to 20,041 children aged 6 to 23 months, and 22,352 children aged 12 to 59 months were dewormed (received Mebendazole tablets). Moreover, iron and folic acid were given to 12567 pregnant women."
-AHA’s field personnel at Meiganga health district
"We now create 60 to 80 pieces of soap daily thanks to the soap-making activity. Every woman usually has two pieces, which we sell at the market every Wednesday for 200 FCFA per piece. We use the money we earn to feed our families and encourage others to follow in our footsteps. Malnutrition is not witchcraft but a disease that can be avoided and cured with food."
-Community member at the village of Badjer, Meiganga