Machinga District Hospital nurse-in-charge Gertrude Banda says the district expects to reduce abdominal and trachoma infections with the open defaecation free (ODF) initiative that Project Concern International (PCI), in partnership with the Emmanuel International (EI), is implementing.
Banda said this at Malundani ground in the area of Senior Chief Nyambi on Wednesday during celebrations that five group village heads (GVHs)— Chitanganya, Mbalwe, Mchimbo, Maole and Chikoja—have attained open defaecation free status.
Banda said previously, the hospital used to register high cases of cholera and trachoma.
“We urge the communities to use latrines so that the money used to buy drugs can be channelled to other socio-economic developmental activities,” she said.
One of the beneficiaries, Charity James, said the latrines have hand washing facilities that can help remove germs.
“We will wash hands after using toilets to protect ourselves from diseases,”she said.
EI Machinga district programmes manager Symon Maseko said some people do not want to dig pit latrines.
“But we are optimistic that with time, things would change,” he said.
The two organisations are implementing a sustainable food security project which includes water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash) in Balaka and Machinga districts with technical support from the United States Agency for International Development (USaid). n