Hospital cleaning has been shown to reduce the rates of healthcare-acquired infections. Good environmental hygiene is also essential to the quality of care provided to patients. Those whose mission it is to ensure a safe and clean environment are often not recognized as full members of the health care workforce.

Pascaline is proud of the work that she does and realizes the value of her commitment.

Reflecting on her role in the process, she says, “Quite frankly, I wondered what the point was in coming to take a picture of me doing one of my daily tasks, which is supplying water to the handwashers. But when I saw my photo printed out with those of the other members of the health care facility, I immediately understood the complementarity between the behaviours valued through each image. This photo made me realize that I am kind of useful.

Espace Culturel Gambidi, One Drop Foundation’s social art and executing partner, collaborated with health care workers and community leaders to create photo portraits showing themselves adopting desired hygiene and sanitation behaviours. This intervention showed that team spirit and collaboration are key elements in the fight against COVID-19, and to prevent other types of contamination in health care facilities.

Pascaline reflects: “Being responsible for the cleanliness of the premises, the real contribution that I can make is to do my job well so that the health care facility is very clean, and also to pay attention to the use of water, because many people tend to waste water when doing this type of task. I can also help educate others. God willing, the photos we have can be very good for awareness. I will also take this opportunity to show people that I am important in this health care facility, which is the reason I have my picture posted (laughs). In terms of support or resources, it is really helping the centre to acquire sufficient materials, which will facilitate my work. I also stress the training, which is very important to me because you never stop learning.

The Clean Clinic approach that is used in the Saniya So+ Project aims to promote the three key hygiene practices (handwashing with water and soap, use of latrines, sound management of drinking water) and community engagement. Through her story, Pascaline helps us understand that her active participation in this artistic photo-portrait project has contributed to exposing everyone to exemplary commitment and behaviour.

Among the team, we talk about it regularly. Through each photo, each of us feels involved, hence obliged to adopt the right behaviours and to challenge others on the need to adopt the right gestures for our health and that of health care facility users.