WaterAid Malawi continues to improve the quality of care patients and guardians receive at public health facilities in Ntchisi district.
Through the 150 healthcare facility challenge project, which WaterAid Malawi is implementing in healthcare facilities, communities around Ntchisi district have started benefiting.
Out of 17 healthcare facilities, 11 have so far been reached out with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes, which is being described as a game changer to the community members, as people in the community are now equipped with management and maintenance skills in various technical aspects.
Amongst them are Mndinda and Nthondo healthcare facilities which both of them offers outpatients and maternity services and healthcare givers in both facilities commended WaterAid Malawi for the support as it has helped to transform healthcare delivery services with the coming in of good hygiene practices as well as provision of adequate good water in both facilities.
Laston Zungu, who is the programmes officer at WaterAid Malawi, said through the project, WaterAid Malawi is committed to reaching out to 75 healthcare facilities with support from other partners.
“So far, we can say we are on right track as per our commitment, we are just remaining with 15 healthcare facilities, we are still lobbying for resources from our partners to come in, so that we can phase out, so far we can say we have done with Ntchisi district, as we also come in with other project which we managed to reach out to 11 healthcare facilities and now we are here with this project which is going to reach out to 3 healthcare facilities, so we can say we are progressing well.
Initially, they used to have serious WASH problems ranging from the shortage of water supply, insufficient of waste management facilities, as for Mndinda healthcare facility they had no enough water supply to cater for the whole population and they did not have the incinerator, placenta as well as ash pit which was full at that time, so as WaterAid we come in and upgrade the water system which was there up to 10, 000 litres, in terms of waste management we construct new incinerator, ash pit as well as refuse pit,” Zungu highlighted.
In terms of sustainability, Zungu said they make sure that they work with the Health Center Management (HCMS) Committee as well as the Maintenance and Operations Committees which was formed so that they can be able to maintain and manage the infrastructures.
Felia Mtegha Kambewa nurse and midwife technician at Nthondo healthcare facility said that the project has helped in terms of hygiene practices at the facility as they used to have problem with expectant women when they deliver a child they always need to use water as well as good facilities so with the coming in of WaterAid Malawi with the project it has really made their lives to be in a better position in as far as sanitation and hygiene practices are concerned.
Edward Chaunga who is one of the members in Operation and Maintenance committee described the project as a game changer as right now the community members are equipped with knowledge and capacity on how they can take care of the resources which were given and that now they have something to do in the community and be able to have the spirit of ownership.
The project supported Mndinda and Nthondo healthcare facilities, which had an average population of 10,780 and 27,902 people respectively.
The 3-year project which is being supported by Giorgio Arman, Aqua for Life, started in April 2021 and is expected to phase out in March 2024.