Geheina is a rural town with a population of around
45,000 located in Geheina Markaz in the north western part of Sohag Governorate.
The Geheina Community Hospital receives around 200-300 out-patients daily
and can accommodate 100 in-patients. The Sohag Eye Disease Hospital is
a small specialised hospital with 30 in-patients and 50-80 out-patients
daily. The hospital is located in Sohag City, which has a population of
Both hospitals cater largely for the poorer segments
of the community from the city and surrounding villages.
As part of the Sohag Environmental Action Plan,
improving sanitation facilities and raising awareness on sanitation and
hygiene practices had been ranked by the community as a high priority.
To address this problem and in response to a request from both hospitals,
SEAM supported a programme to renovate sanitary facilities and raise community
awareness. Alleviating poor sanitation conditions at hospitals providing
a community service was also considered a good starting point for educating
the community on environmental health issues. Community participation has
therefore been an integral
part of the project.
Issues that arose from consultation with hospital
and local council staff were:
Sanitation facilities in poor condition and prone
to leaks and blockages.
Limited awareness of environmental and hygiene issues
among the community using the hospitals.
Disposal of solid waste in sanitary facilities which
Poor maintenance with cleaners not being well trained
nor adequately supervised.
Inadequate segregation of hospital waste.
Lack of awareness on the dangers of improper handling
and disposal of hospital wast
Cleansing workers also indicated that they
were not highly motivated because of people’s constant misuse of bathroom
facilities and low salaries.
At the Sohag Eye Disease Hospital the lack of
personal hygiene and incorrect garbage handling by patients, was one of
the main causes of eye infections and diseases being treated. Education
to prevent infections was therefore considered essential.