More effort needed in ODF campaigns – Ministry of Health

Written by  Mike Mkwala and Patience Lunda

86 out of 283 Traditional Authorities in the country have been declared Open Defecation Free.

Traditional Authority Kameme receiving ODF certificate from Chief Director Health (1) Traditional Authority Kameme receiving ODF certificate from Chief Director Health (1)

The recent recognition has gone to the area of Traditional Authority Kameme where World Vision Malawi was implementing an ODF campaign.

Speaking during the certification ceremony, Chief Director in the Ministry, Beston Chisamile said more needs to be done to ensure that all communities are free from open defecation.

“To achieve the ODF status, the government and donor community are playing their part, but communities must also ensure that their communities are practicing good hygiene and sanitation measures.

“Statistics are showing that 52% of diseases being treated in public hospitals are hygiene and sanitation related, hence more effort is needed in such initiatives”, said Chisamile.

Every home in the area of Senior Chief Kameme in Chitipa District now has a good latrine, drop-hole cover and a hand washing facility.

“It’s not just in homes, but churches, markets and other places as well. The household that defies the order is made to pay a goat or chicken as a fine”, said Senior Chief Kameme.

It is through these by-laws that the community has managed to achieve the Open Defecation Free status and it is has now received a certificate.

World Vision Malawi has been working with the community and has trained them to make good latrines.

“What we are calling for is the continuation of the initiative as we also plan to reach out to other areas,” said Chikondi Phiri, National Director for World Vision Malawi.

In Chitipa, two Traditional Authorities out of five have not yet gotten the status in addition to many others across the country.

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