Government says it is committed to improving water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash) practices in the country to prevent Wash-related illnesses and achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.
SDG 6 urges countries to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defaecation by 2030.
Chief of health services in the Ministry of Health Dr Charles Mwansambo said in Lilongwe yesterday when he opened a four-day Global Hygiene Conference hosted by Water Aid Malawi that activities being implemented in the Wash sector in partnership with development partners have already started bearing fruits.
He said: “This time last year, we had registered about 594 cholera cases, but with various interventions this year, I am pleased to report that as of yesterday we only have three reported cholera cases, most of which are from across the border. I, therefore, ask you our partners to continue working with government, not just here in Malawi but also in other countries, to help keep away these preventable conditions.”
So far, about 42 percent of traditional authorities (T/As) in the country have been declared Open Defeacation Free (ODF).
Water Aid Malawi country director, Mercy Masoo said in most Wash efforts, hygiene is lagging behind.
“We realised from the studies we conducted before developing the global strategy that we have, that hygiene is an area that has been lagging behind,” she said.
On his part, head of Water Aid Southern Africa region Robert Kampala stated that the organisation’s work in hygiene enables them to integrate Wash into the other sectors.