Feb 2, 2011, 2:17 PM
About 45 participants drawn from all walks of life within Central River Region recently converged at the School for Enrol Nurses (SEN) in Bansang for a five-day training workshop on Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS).
The training session was, among others, aimed at improving sanitation levels within the communities to ensure people live healthy lives.
Speaking at the meeting, the Regional Health Director for CRR, Momodou Lamin Manneh, spoke at length on the importance of the forum, noting that health is wealth and no country can prosper in the absence of health.
According to Manneh, health is on the top of a government's agenda in any developing country. He underscored the importance of proper sanitation, and urged the participants to make best use of the training opportunity, as this will go a long way in addressing local sanitation problems.
Lamin Chaba Saidyliegh, program assistant for the Rural Water Supply Division stated that diarrhoea is a leading cause of death among children under 5 years old, adding that each year two million children under 5 die from diarrhoea diseases globally.
Community Led Total Sanitation innovation for sanitation delivery, according to Mr. Chaba, is an approach used to guide community members to analyze their sanitation situation.
"This triggers a sense of shame and disgust for the fact that open defecation (OD) have such a negative impact on their health and environment", he said. This, he added, leads communities to take collective decision to stop open defecation.
Karamba Keita, the principal public health officer in the region said CLTS focuses on changing the behaviour and attitudes of communities towards stopping OD by digging latrines.
He pointed out that the objective of the training course is to ensure that participants have a clear understanding of the genesis, principles and methodology for applying CLTS, and to trigger communities so that they could take charge of their responsibilities.
Other speakers included Jaligeh Nget, CRR regional public health officer and Ms Isatou Bah, CRR regional water supply focal person, who delivered the vote of thanks.