In 2019, the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) teamed up with Akvo, an Aquagenx partner, as well as UNICEF and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) to establish a system for monitoring WASH services in healthcare facilities (HCF).
Solomon Islands is a nation of 900 mountainous and volcanic islands. Of the 600 inhabited islands, only 345 have health care facilities (HCFs). In total, 355 HCFs serve the country’s population of 620,000.
Many public health issues in Solomon Islands are attributed to limited access to clean water and sanitation, as well as poor hygiene practices. Further, data on WASH services in HCFs is scarce. Although MHMS aims to ensure HCFs are equipped to prioritize patient safety, challenges are often vast and complex – from unreliable resource suppliers, coordinating complicated geographical logistics, absence of water quality testing systems, insufficient funding, and limited technical skills within communities. These issues may inhibit HCFs from providing basic levels of services.
MHMS, UNICEF, UNC and Akvo have worked to establish a data system for generating, measuring, analyzing, and monitoring data on WASH in HCF indicators. The Aquagenx Compartment Bag Test for E. coli and Total Coliforms was used for water quality testing.