By: Vincent Gunde
The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood ( WRASM _ Malawi), will implement a _ one year project aimed at advocating for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene ( WASH) in Health Care Facilities across the country.
The project will be implemented in the three districts of Dowa, Zomba and Chitipa and has started with district WASH assessment in sampled health facilities in the stated districts generating evidence for advocacy work.
It is expected that the findings will be presented to the District Health Committee and Quality Management Directorate in the Ministry of Health for action.
WRASMs national coordinator, Nancy Kamwendo, said her organisation would like to have 30 out of 100 health facilities be providing quality WASH services inorder to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in the country.
Kamwendo said women of reproductive age can receive quality maternal care if there is functional WASH facilities and running water so that the women receive the care in clean labour wards, toilets and surrounding.
She lamented that in some health facilities, midwives are facing a strong challenge whereby they run to their respective houses to answer the call of nature while a woman is in the labour ward waiting to be provided with quality care.
The national coordinator said WRASM will advocate for WASH budget line for districts saying this will empower the communities to demand and contribute towards WASH in Health Care Facilities.
She urged chiefs, WRASM volunteers, Chapter members, politicians and Health Advisory Committees( HAC) to play a leading role in ensuring that they are monitoring health facilities for the availability of WASH services to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in the country.
WRASM _ Malawi, being a reproductive health advocacy campaigner, has been advocating for adequate resources and a supportive policy environment to prevent needless deaths of women and new born babies in the country.
The one year project will be implemented in the three districts of Dowa, Zomba and Chitipa with funding from International Rescue Committee ( IRC) of Netherlands.