Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi says the Malawi Government is committed to continue improving water and sanitation in its drive to build a healthy nation.
He said this in an interview after attending the official opening of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention in New Delhi, India which has drawn over 50 ministers from 67 countries graced by India President Shri Ram NathKovind.
In a presentation at the conference, Muluzi told the delegates that the conference is an opportunity for Malawi to learn from India’s success story in its drive to achieve Open Defaecation Free (ODF) status by October 2019, a goal that Malawi is also pursuing.
Said the minister: “As of 2014, India had a sanitation coverage of about 39 percent, but has made progress in four years to about 93 percent. This is a tremendous achievement and as a country, we would want to learn from them as to how they have managed to achieve that. Malawi is also targeting to achieve the ODF status by December 2019.”
On his part, Malawi’s High Commissioner to India George Mkondiwa urged companies and individuals to join forces with government in the ODF campaign, saying India is making progress because of individuals and companies that are taking part in contributing to the good cause in various ways such as adopting a street, school, city with some just contributing money or sanitation materials
Speaking during the opening, United Nations General Secretary Antonio Guterres said over one billion people still practise open defaecation.
He urged countries to emulate the good work that India is doing, adding countries cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals if citizens have poor sanitation.
While in India, Muluzi visited the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) offices where he led the Malawi delegation in learning how a mobile app is digitising vaccine management in India which can be replicated in Malawi health system as it is set to introduce the End to End Drug Trafficking system in 2019 to cub drug theft in Malawi with support from Global fund and other development partners.