SSUHA’s establishment was against the background of provision of both primary and secondary health care programs. In general, SSUHA supports the provision of Basic Primary Health Care services at static health facilities and also at outreach sites through mobile clinics. SSUHA started the provision of health care services since June 1997 and has been in that field to date. With about 25 years of experience, especially in the provision of Primary Health Care Service, we can confidently say that our partners can rely on our sturdy ability to provide the services needed in that field. Supporting health service provision in Primary Health Care Units (PHCU), Primary Health Care Centers (PHCCs), and in hospitals has given us wealth of knowledge and experience of comprehensive health service delivery. Some areas of emphasis in our health service delivery include the following: Sexual and Reproductive Health: This has been one of the important aspects in our provision of health services to the communities we serve. It is a service that is in the center of determining the average health of women and children, and their ability to enjoy a healthy life. The health of women and children is intertwined, and must be looked at in totality. It is an aspect that takes into account a range of services that include, but not limited to: Ante-natal Care, Post-natal Care, prevention against STIs including HIV/AIDS, treatment of STIs, safe delivery, Family Planning, and more. HIV/AIDS: Besides incorporating HIV/AIDS in its normal health program, SSUHA carried out specific HIV/AIDS activities in projects that were designed to prevent its spread and mitigate the negative impacts on the health and economy of the populations infected by it. Some of the services/activities planned included: Promotion of VCT, provision of access to ARVs, prevention of Perinatal Transmission of HIV, combating co-infections in HIV patients, especially those involving TB, promoting the use of condoms where and when necessary, conducting HIV/AIDS awareness in communities and public institutions that include schools etc., conducting radio talk shows on HIV/AIDS, making use of IEC materials to promote awareness, providing home-based care to infected people, supporting livelihood activities for people living with HIV and AIDs to improve their economic and health statuses. COVID-19: With COVID-19, it has yet been one of the health challenges of great magnitude ever experienced in recent times. It is a challenge that has to be handled beyond the usual and normal parameters of health service delivery. Like any of the pandemics, there was much efforts exerted to contain it with contributions from many sectors and agencies. For their part, SSUHA and its staff were in the center of these efforts and contributions. At health facilities level, some of the intervention measures included: Conducting screening for COVID-19 for patients at HFs, training health workers on how to detect and identify COVID cases, training health workers on rational and correct and appropriate use of PPEs, supplying PPEs for use in HFs, training health workers on ensuring their own safety against the virus, strengthening control measures at the facilities, training and getting health workers to conduct COVAX. At the level of communities, SSUHA works by training and supporting the Boma Health Workers (BHWs) to provide awareness to the community members on COVID-19, and on ways of how they should protect themselves against the virus. Measures include social distancing, using of face masks during funeral and other public gatherings, frequent washing of hands, using alcohol-based sanitisers, avoid spiting in public, avoid coughing and sneezing in a manner that may affect others during gatherings, etc. Nutrition: SSUHA implements nutrition activities within the shadows of its health and food security and livelihood programs. Integrating nutrition into health and food security has been more beneficial for the target populations in SSUHA’s service delivery, where other components of the services complement for the needs of those receiving the services. In our health and nutrition project in Lainya county, both services were integrated: Nutrition activities were integrated into IMNCI, EPI, ANC, intra partum and Post Natal Care clinics; and community screening done by the HHPs. Malnourished children < 5 years and PLWs with both severe and moderate cases were promptly referred for appropriate treatment to OTP/TSFP centres established in three static facilities, and SAM cases with complications were managed in the Stabilization Centre in Lainya hospital. Health workers were trained on CMAM, IYCF, and HHPs trained on community screening of malnourished children to improve the quality of nutrition services. A total of 41 HHPs trained, and 10 mother-to-mother groups were formed and engaged in mobilization, health education and promotion of exclusive breast feeding. In other settings such as those under food security and livelihood where nutrition services are implemented, SSUHA considers the promotion of kitchen gardens as an important component of the program. These often happen in women groups, and also in schools. WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE SERVICES: SSUHA started providing WASH services in 2006. This was provided within the scope of the provision of services in health, and food security and livelihood to complement for the needs of the beneficiaries. From 2008, however, SSUHA started providing comprehensive WASH services that took into consideration as many components as possible. Focusing on provision of clean and safe water, the following activities were part of the services planned and provided: drilling of boreholes, protection of springs, excavation and protection of shallow wells, provision of borehole spare parts and carrying out rehabilitation of broken-down boreholes, provision of toolkits for the repair of the boreholes, training of hand pump mechanics (HPMs) for the repair work, selection and training of water users’ committees to ensure protection and sustenance of the water sources, and provision of IEC materials including billboards to promote the concept of clean and safe water. SSUHA also provided water through harvesting of rain water into manufactured (Plastic) and constructed tanks, especially in schools, health facilities and other institutions such as churches, etc. SSUHA has a mini laboratory for carrying out water quality testing, and ensure that contaminated water sources are flushed and treated (Chlorinated). It also constructed bio-sand filters, and provided water treatment tablets to help where safe water sources were lacking. Focusing on sanitation and hygiene, the following activities were planned and provided: Construction of VIP latrines in schools, health facilities and other public institutions, construction of household latrines by community members, provision of tools to community members for sinking latrine pits, provision of San-plats for household latrines, provision of hand-washing containers, provision of tools to promote hygiene in schools, training hygiene promoters (HP) to carry out awareness campaigns in the community, and in schools and other public places, provision of IEC materials for use by the HPs in carrying out awareness campaigns, formation and training of hygiene and sanitation committees to manage public latrines, formation of students and teachers clubs to spearhead and promote WASH activities in schools, provision of dignity sanitary kits/materials for school girls, conducting talk-show sessions on the local FM radio stations, and conducting sanitation and hygiene competition activities in the community and giving prizes to winning households to motivate and promote cleanliness. The list could go on for these WASH activities.
Child Protection and protection against gender-based violence (GBV) have been two areas SSUHA has concentrated on in its protection services. The program provides services that include training of social workers and other project staff on a number of topics/areas, and together with other planned activities, they include the following: raising of awareness on child abuse and violation of their nights, sensitisation on abuse of women, domestic violence, rape, early and forced marriages, abuse of alcohol as a catalyst of social and domestic violence, etc. Case management of victims (Including establishment of referral path ways), provision of counselling/psychosocial support, family tracing and reunification, provision of friendly spaces for women and girls in the community, and for children in schools, provision of dignity sanitary kits for girls (especially in schools), provision of material support (especially food) for the most vulnerable victims, etc. We also provide training for groups (especially women) on income generating skills accompanied with small capital funding. The gender and child welfare office, and its counterpart officers co-located within the police department provide some of the much-needed legal support in the case of victims of rape and other forms of violence. In our experience, some of the major protection cases we have dealt with have been from these areas: rape, sexual assault, conditions of orphans, early marriages, educational neglect, emotional distress, situations of child-headed families, conditions of school drop-outs due to early marriages and teenage pregnancy, victims of insecurity resulting from the civil war/conflict in the area. The list could go longer.
One of our goals and mission at SSUHA is to ensure our beneficiaries get access to safe water, maintain proper sanitation and access the proper Health services.