Health is an important component of ensuring a better quality of life. Adequate sanitation, together with good hygiene and safe water, is fundamental for good health and social and economic development.
Rural communities have long struggled to maintain access to quality and affordable health care services, clean water, better nutrition, and living standards. It is a battle that many in rural areas are constantly losing due to significant inequalities and poor infrastructure that hinders the development of the communities they live in.
The majority of the people in the Northern part of Zanzibar are living in poverty, where there are a shortage of physicians and health care facilities
In order to access medical care, people need financial means to pay for the services and the ability to reach the services that are located at a distance, these are the barriers that are currently faced within rural areas.
After working with the Mbuyu Tende and Kijini communities for more than 3 years, the main health cases are found to be brought by lack of knowledge, poor personal hygiene and the inability to pay for health services. Best of Zanzibar has implemented some initiatives to improve community health and sanitation issues.
- Community education on good health practices, especially in schools so that the younger generation can change their behaviour.
- Access to clean water and sanitation services, Best of Zanzibar through its health and sanitation program has succeeded in building handwashing stations as well as installation of water systems in both Kijini and Mbuyu Tende schools giving access to clean water to the students and teachers.
- The introduction of the mobile clinic which helps more than 500 villagers yearly with free medical check-ups and medicine. The mobile clinics, which are facilitated by the Zanzibar Outreach Program (ZOP), have been well received by the community members as well as improving their well being.
The Ministry of Health Zanzibar is working tirelessly to bring essential medical facilities closer to the communities, their efforts are supported by many private organizations such as Best of Zanzibar who work to meet the needs of rural communities and help ensure the availability of healthcare services.0