My WATSAN Life: Week 7 & 8

15 December 2016

Hepatitis E Virus Emergency Response Project: Blanket (City-Wide) DistributionHepatitis E Virus Emergency Response Project: Blanket (City-Wide) Distribution


To help stop the spread of the hepatitis E virus (which is most commonly transmitted via contaminated water), we conducted a mass hygiene kit distribution. Over four days, we gave one hygiene kit to every household in Am Timan. Over 11,000 homes received one jerry can, one 20 litre bucket with lid, two goblets and thirty bars of soap.

In the past three weeks, the medical team has given a hygiene kit to 773 households. The people targeted were those with +HEV (hepatitis E positive) and their five neighbouring households.

The evening before the mass distribution we had a furious card stamping session! In the weeks leading up to the distribution, temporary distribution cards were handed out each household. This not only gave us an estimate of how many households would be part of our mass distribution, but also regulated that only one hygiene kit was received per household.  Distribution cards had to be counted, sorted and stamped with both an official MSF stamp and black-light stamp.

















Photo Credit: David Beversluis (Medical Team Leader)








Inventory area where we put together the Hygiene Kits

At the beginning of the project we estimated there were 8,750 households in Am Timan. However, after the medical team conducted a census, we found out that 10,200 households would be part of the mass distribution. This unexpected increase in the quantity of jerry cans and buckets needed was successfully handled by the logistics team. (The distribution started Monday and continued till Thursday. We just received the last ~2000 jerry cans on a truck on Wednesday afternoon).


Photo Credit: David Beversluis (Medical Team Leader)





















Soap counting station: Ensuring that 30 bars of soap and 2 goblets are in each bucket

Hygiene promoters performed a theater skit and song to keep the people waiting in line entertained. The skit explained the misperceptions about the odor and taste of chlorine as well as the importance of handwashing.

We had to build a stronger wood barricade as the day before women plowed down the orange fencing while pushing and shoving their way up the queue.

My WATSAN Life: Week 7 & 8

For my R&R, I spent four restful days poolside at the lovely Chinese hotel Chez Wou. It was a happy coincidence that the food I was craving the most was greasy Chinese food and here was an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet which included stir fried rice and noodles!


Tap stand distributing water to the community of Ganatir in Am Timan, Chad

Last weekend we installed a 15,000 liter tap stand at the water jetting site for water storage. The day after we installed the water storage, we noticed that women were still digging holes in the wadis to collect water. We discovered that because the bladder was new, it gave the water a somewhat strong plastic smell which deterred the women from collecting it. We flushed the bladder with a chlorine solution to help get rid of the smell.


Maria (Outreach Nurse) and I explaining MSF’s project objective and the Chlorination Program to approximately 500 women at the Women’s Association Meeting

Over the last week, we have noticed a decrease in refusals rates for our Chlorination Program from 21% to 10%. This has been due to the HERP (Hepatitis E Emergency Response Project) teams’ effort to clarify the situation with the religious leaders at the Grand Mosque and follow-up messages on the radio. In addition, a meeting was held at the Women’s Association where approximately 500 women came to hear about our project objective and chlorination program.


On average the number of users per day is 8,004 people at 72 Water Points in Am Timan


















The HERP (Hepatitis E Emergency Response Project) WATSAN team (from left to right): Me (Project WATSAN), Daniel (Flying Chad WATSAN), Dawn (HQ WATSAN Advisor) and Jan (WATSAN Coordinator)