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Schools picked for pilot project

Torika Chandra
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

FIFTEEN schools in the Nausori district have been identified by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and UNICEF Pacific to pilot the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) program from this year.

And on Monday, in their bid to discuss key issues in data collection and management with respect to WASH using mobile phone technology, key stakeholders began a week-long training in Suva.

Minister for Health Jone Usamate said the use of mobile and wireless technologies to support the achievement of health objectives had the potential to transform the face of health service delivery across the world.

"A powerful combination of factors is driving this change," Mr Usamate said.

"These include rapid advances in mobile technologies and applications, a rise in new opportunities for the integration of mobile health into existing health services, and the continued growth in coverage of mobile cellular networks."

The WASH program in schools is designed to improve the effectiveness of hygiene behavioural change programs.

The approach ensures that healthy habits are taught, practised and integrated into daily school routines.

This is expected to help schools meet the essential criteria for a healthy and protective learning environment for children.

According to UNICEF Pacific, the WASH program using mobile phone technology will use the Akvo Flow Software for data gathering, analysis and mapping access to water and sanitation.

The Akvo Flow Software belongs to Akvo, a non-profit organisation from the Netherlands which has partnered with UNICEF for the WASH program in Fiji.

Akvo builds open source internet and mobile software designed to support international development partnership networks.

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