Student Builds Latrine at Balaka Hospital
A Master’s of Public Health student at Melbourne University in Australia has built a toilet at the Balaka District Hospital for outpatients and other support staff in a bid to deal with poor sanitation.
Jennipher Phiri told Zodiak Online that absence of a toilet for outpatients at the facility compromised health of outpatients as well as that of health workers.
“As a public health practitioner in the making, good health of the community is my priority. With focus on the stream of epidemiology and biostatistics, I’ve come to realize that our environment affects our health, either negatively or positively,” said Phiri.
Phiri said she noticed the absence of toilet facilities for outpatients, which forced individuals to resort to relieving themselves wherever they felt they could, thereby compromising sanitation of the working environment on the other hand increasing potential risk of infections and diseases.
The University’s website says she applied for a Student Engagement Grant in order to give back to the community she serves and created the idea of building a pit latrine at the Hospital so as to enable patients receive care in a cleaner and safer environment.
The Hospital’s spokesperson, Mercy Nyirenda, said the donation is timely and extended a vote of thanks to Phiri for remembering problems back home.