British Paralympic swimmer and Strictly Come Dancing star Ellie Simmonds OBE has launched WaterAid’s new appeal, Water Means Life, aiming to bring life-changing access to clean water, decent toilets and hygiene facilities to healthcare centres in Mozambique and around the world.
Through its appeal, WaterAid will help tackle the global hygiene crisis in healthcare centres across the world. Currently one in four healthcare centres have no clean water on site and almost half of health care centres have no basic handwashing facilities, putting staff and patients at a greater risk of getting ill.
Patients are dying needlessly; nurses and doctors are at risk and there is a higher threat of future pandemics.
Ellie has seen the reality of life without clean water when visiting Uganda with WaterAid;
“It is unthinkable that nearly half the global population, or 3.85 billion people, have to use or work in a healthcare centre without basic hygiene facilities. People are dying when they are seeking or delivering care simply because they do not have access to clean water to wash their hands. We are lucky to feel safe in our healthcare system, knowing, at the very least that we will be treated in hygienic surroundings with access to clean water to drink and wash with, and decent toilets.
When I visited Uganda with WaterAid I saw first-hand the life changing difference clean water has on whole communities. It is a basic human need; we all need water to survive which is why I’m proud to support WaterAid and their Water Means Life appeal. It’s important we come together to make sure these basic, vital, facilities reach healthcare facilities, saving the lives of both patients and healthcare workers.”
Currently infections associated with unclean births account for 26% of newborn deaths and 11% of maternal mortality each year – together accounting for more than 1 million deaths annually.
WaterAid’s appeal aims to raise £2.5million between November 2022 and February 2023. Funds raised will bring water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities to healthcare centres in Mozambique and across the world.
Nilza Domingos, a maternal and child health nurse in Mecanhelas, northern Mozambique, talks about the importance of getting water in her clinic;
“Water is important for everybody, but it is vital for the Maternity ward. Delivery work requires water, hygiene, and cleanliness. We also use water to make tea for women in labour.”
“Having water on site has improved the cleaning of the Maternity ward, and women’s hygiene a lot, as water is important for cleaning women after delivery. Pregnant women during the early part of labour and afterwards use the toilets and wash themselves. For the nurses, we also wash our hands prior and after delivery.”
“To me water is life. Without water there is no life.”
WaterAid’s appeal will enable the organisation to carry out similar life-saving work in Mozambique and globally.
Find out more and donate at www.wateraid.org.