WASH Committees (WASHCOM) drive birth registration and immunization of children in their communities

2018-02-12T15:11:05Z (GMT) by Kannan Nadar George Ugbong
Under the “Federal Government of Nigeria – UNICEF” Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) programme, the normal process of engagement in a community includes the establishment of a WASH Committee (WASHCOM) and training of its members on their roles and responsibilities, record keeping and management of WASH facilities to ensure ownership and sustainability of WASH interventions. Experience in some of the intervening states showed that once WASHCOMs are empowered, they take additional responsibility to address developmental challenges beyond WASH in their communities. Building on this, an expanded WASHCOM guideline covering inter-sectoral issues was developed for sensitizing WASHCOMs on child survival issues affecting their communities. UNICEF Nigeria piloted the roll-out of this guideline for cross-sectoral integration using WASHCOMs as an entry point to address birth registration and immunization in 29 communities in Benue and Jigawa states. The results recorded thus far clearly demonstrates the potential for engaging WASCHCOMs to address child survival issues.