Guinea is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 182 out of 188 countries according to the UN 2015 Human Development Index.
The country is beginning to recover following an Ebola outbreak, which claimed the lives of 2,543 people between March 2014 and March 2016. The crisis left its mark on health and sanitation infrastructure and facilities, leaving communities and schools desperately in need of help.
Access to clean and functional sanitation and hygiene facilities is a key issue in Guinea. Lack of appropriate facilities raise the risk of diseases such as diarrhoea and put children at risk, as they are most vulnerable to the spread of such diseases.
Many schools in Guinea have unsafe and dysfunctional latrine blocks, which also lack handwashing facilities. This leads to both health and protection issues for school children.
Now, it is more important than ever to provide these young children with adequate hygiene and sanitation facilities in order to protect their health and enable them to continue their education safely.
In Guinea we focus on child survival, child protection and participation, and education. Our child survival programme focuses on ensuring that all children have access to clean water and sanitation facilities.
By building appropriate facilities, our programmes improve the health status and quality of life for children in schools, particularly girls and those living with disabilities.
Since the Ebola outbreak in 2014, Plan International Ireland has been working with local village health committees and school authorities to increase the awareness of the need to wash hands properly. We have also installed new latrines and more hand-washing stations in schools and distributed 99,961 hygiene kits to families.