Govt calls for collaboration in addressing WASH-related challenges
Phale made the call while visiting the Ministry of Health Headquarters in Lilongwe on Wednesday.
Malawi: Enock Phale, Deputy Minister of Health, has called for increased collaboration among key players in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) interventions in the health sector and the general public to address WASH-related challenges in health facilities, writes Watipaso Mzungu.
Phale made the call on Wednesday when he interacted with officials from WaterAid at the Ministry of Health Headquarters in Lilongwe.
During the interaction, the Deputy Minister requested that the organization's country leadership hold some discussions to mobilise resources for improving WASH infrastructures in health facilities throughout the country.
He stated that the government could not address the WASH challenges alone, thus requiring stakeholder collaboration.
"We considered engaging WaterAid after admiring what they have done in some health facilities, such as at Chikweo Health Centre in Machinga, where they have installed admirable water systems, which is what we want to be done in hard-to-reach areas and all other health facilities that do not fall under the jurisdiction of Water Boards, as well as those that are within designated mandates of Water Boards so that we can improve WASH in health facilities for healthy communities,” he said.
The Deputy Minister stated that the government intends to build 900 health posts and upgrade some health centres. He challenged healthcare partners to make room in these facilities for other priority interventions such as WASH.
"We need to build a resilient healthcare system that can absorb shocks, sustain gains, and eventually gain public trust. We can only achieve this if we invest in public health infrastructure, among other things, and we intend to introduce Health Facility Improvement Grants, which will go a long way toward mitigating some of the infrastructure challenges in our health facilities," explained Phale.
Mercy Masoo, WaterAid Country Director for Malawi, agreed with the Deputy Minister and thanked him for the invitation to discuss WASH activities, as well as her organization's commitment to supporting WASH in health facilities across the country.
"WaterAid loves a challenge, so we're taking it on and will do everything we can to help by collaborating with the ministry to improve WASH interventions," she said.