150 Challenge- WASH in HCFs Ntchisi Project
The project is targeting Health Care Facilities (HCFs) in Ntchisi, a rural district in the central region of Malawi. The four HCFs that are being included are Ntchisi District Hospital, which is serving a district population of 317,069 people, as well as Kangolwa, Nkhuzi, and Khuwi health centers, which are serving 19,024; 19,341; and 33,042 people respectively.
These facilities are being targeted due to their inability to provide a safe and clean environment for health service delivery, primarily because of the poor state of water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management facilities and practices. This situation puts women, children, men, and healthcare workers at risk of acquiring or spreading infections while seeking or providing services at these facilities.
The project is addressing the following challenges: inadequate and poorly managed WASH infrastructure, as well as weak hygiene and infection prevention control practices in HCFs. These challenges are being tackled through the provision of new infrastructure and the rehabilitation of existing water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management facilities.
The initiative is currently focusing on capacity building and resource planning to ensure the smooth operation and maintenance of the infrastructure. Furthermore, it is actively implementing hygiene behavior change initiatives and promoting infection prevention and control practices. Through these interventions, the initiative is aiming to contribute to improved health outcomes for the 317,069 people residing in Ntchisi district.
The project has partnered with Ntchisi District Council, specifically through its technical arm, the District Executive Committee (DEC), and the District Health Management Team (DHMT), to enhance collaboration and promote ownership in order to support sustained project gains.
At the national level, the project is collaborating with the Ministry of Health, particularly through the Directorates for Preventive Health and Quality Management, as well as through sector technical working groups such as the Anti-Microbial Resistance Team and the National Infection Prevention and Control Committee. This collaboration is ensuring effective planning and implementation of the intended interventions.
The project is being implemented for a period of 36 months, running from July 2020 to June 2023. This project is part of WaterAid Malawi's flagship program known as "The 150 Health Care Facility Challenge" or "150 HCF Challenge." This campaign is mobilizing stakeholders and resources to increase the coverage of improved WASH in HCFs throughout Malawi.