At 59, Samson Gibson, is visually impaired. Though challenged with sight, he has an insight into the numerous challenges of the community, including countless number of infant and maternal mortality in Unguwan Rimi community. This community had no single health facility; pregnant women depended on traditional birth attendants or traveled to the neighbouring communities for maternity clinic. Unguwan Rimi also recorded high incidences of cholera outbreak due to lack of clean drinking water. The only stream in the community serves both human and animal.
“Before the intervention of ActionAid through Fahimta, the people of this community have just one stream as their only source of water and everyone in the community drinks from the stream including our animals but with the coming of ActionAid the story has changed,” said Gibson. “This community also experienced a high rate of infant mortality; we also suffered a lot from water borne diseases like cholera due to the bad water and the absence of health facility nearby; the nearest health centre is about one hour from this community” Gibson said.
In 2010, ActionAid through the LRP constructed a health centre, the first in the community, a borehole was also constructed which gives better option for clean water compared to the one source stream water which is usually contaminated. When the health centre was constructed, the community mobilised and began to make demand from the local health authority to send in medical personnel to the new health centre. Medical personnel were posted to the facility from the local government authority in response to the demands.
The quick response to their demand from the government was an eye opener to the members of the community, they never realised that they had the tool to compel and attract government presence in their community.
Hussaina said through their advocacy, health workers were posted to the community to conduct cervical cancer screening for all women in the community: Said Hussaina: This is an unexpected outcome of the programme.