Linkage to Care and Health Education for promoting Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Primary Healthcare Services in Underserved Communities of Islamabad, Pakistan

Pakistan faces a critical challenge with a large population lacking access to safe water and inadequate Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) practices, especially in rural areas and urban slums. Contaminated water contributes to severe health issues, with 53,000 children under five succumbing to diarrheal infections annually. Poor utilization of healthcare services further exacerbates the situation, especially in slum communities reluctant to seek treatment due to cost and mistrust.

To address this, a comprehensive WASH campaign is being implemented by Integral Global and supported by the John C. Martin Foundation.

The project aims to empower underserved communities using trained Community Health Workers (CHWs) who will conduct door-to-door awareness campaigns, bridging the gap between the community and health education. School-aged children, particularly vulnerable to diseases, are the primary beneficiaries, with secondary beneficiaries including non-school aged children and adults.

Key activities include a baseline survey to understand the WASH-related disease burden, community outreach, school WASH education, and mobilization through local leaders and unconventional means, such as radio and television messaging. The project will also meaningfully engage local public healthcare facilities, ensuring quality services and referrals for WASH-related diseases.

Over a three-year duration, the project plans to impact 17 slums in Islamabad, the catchment population being over 40,000 individuals. Sustainability is emphasized through community involvement, ensuring long-term impact beyond the project’s conclusion. The project is expected to provide a model for effective CHW mobilization, health education, and simple, cost-effective interventions in resource-limited settings.

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