2016 Seasonal message
A big, warm, seasonal Hello
As has become traditional, we wanted to let you know what we’re doing this Christmas to support good health for communities around the world, working with the excellent Oxfam Unwrapped.
We have done this for many years at Quality Health, replacing the purchase and postage costs for traditional Christmas cards and instead making donations to Oxfam. In Britain we are lucky to have a long history of public health activism, and a much loved healthcare system. As a result of this, we have affordable access to free healthcare as well as clean and safe water, and - for most - food and warmth. At this wonderful time of year, we must recognise that this picture is not the same across our world.
In 2016 Quality Health has paid for Oxfam packages to provide communities with safe water - and soap - as part of a plan to teach the poorest children hygiene and protection against disease, and to support training so that they can take this home to their families.
We hope you will share our pleasure in the evidence about the effectiveness of the gifts.
A very Happy Christmas to all from Quality Health Ltd.
Finding clean water was a major problem for families like Louise’s living in Boporo refugee camp, having fled fighting in the region. Originally Louise Nyiranolozi had no choice but to walk long distances for water. It took two hours to fetch from the nearby stream, and it often made people seriously ill, including her daughter. Oxfam engineers built two massive tanks on the hill above Boporo to collect natural spring water, which is cleaned, tested and pumped to the camp below. Safe water is now within easy reach and is helping to keep Louise’s and other families healthy. “Water used to be a serious problem. It was hard to get more than 20 litres per day, especially as the number of people arriving kept rising. People got sick with diarrhoea. Now water is in abundance so people no longer get sick.”
After the horrors of Ebola, Oxfam is helping people like Aminata in Sierra Leone to rebuild their lives – starting with a new water pump. Life for Aminata Kamara and her community in Freetown was always tough because of a lack of local water supply. People would get ill from waterborne diseases – and then came Ebola. “Before, having no water used to be difficult for the community. The kids had to wake up very early in the morning and fetch water up in the hills. They started at about 8 o’clock, so usually they were late for school. At 4pm they would be fetching water again until eight at night.” But today, the neighbourhood has their own borehole, providing clean water for drinking and washing. The change has been amazing. People are healthier and have more time to earn a living or get an education.
In Ouallum Province, Niger, Oxfam has been helping to improve health and hygiene, including providing soap – a small thing, but it has changed life for Binta and her family.
Before Oxfam’s involvement, a lack of sanitation and knowledge of good hygiene in Binta’s village put children’s lives at risk, including her young daughter’s. When her daughter became sick, Binta took her to the treatment centre where she was cared for and given a hygiene kit, containing some Oxfam soap.
“Today my little girl is well. I’m really pleased with what I learned about hygiene and nutrition. I learned to wash my child, to wash her hands every day. The conditions here have really improved. I’m able to work again” Binta Boukary.