With support from GIZ, WaterAid Malawi addressed poorly managed and insufficient water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure, and infection prevention and control, in 15 healthcare centres.  

Where did we work?

This project focused on Dedza, Lilongwe, Mchinji and Ntcheu – the four priority districts of Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany’s main international development agency. Within these districts, 15 healthcare facilities were selected to take part in the project: Bilira, Chileka, Chimoto, Chioshya, Chipumi, Chiunjidza, Dedza District Health Office (DHO), Doviko, Kaigwazanga, Lemwe, Masasa, Mganja, Mikondo, Ngoni and Ntcheu DHO.

What did we do?

This project had two key goals:

  1. Improve access to sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in 15 healthcare facilities.
  2. Promote better hygiene and infection prevention and control (IPC) practices among healthcare workers and patients.

To achieve these goals, the project team:

  • Constructed or rehabilitated existing WASH infrastructure.
  • Provided training and promoted IPC measures to 100 medical and non-medical members of staff from different departments.
  • Provided key supplies and built the capacity of healthcare facility management teams to establish and implement WASH improvement plans.
  • Installed waste segregation bins, constructed waste management facilities and provided training on how to use these effectively and safely.

What did we achieve?

Over the 24 months of the project, many achievements were made.

  • We constructed fully functional WASH facilities and improved sanitation and waste management systems in each of the 15 healthcare centres.
  • We installed 30 safe water access points.
  • We reached 547,272 people with hygiene behaviour change messages through printing and distributing hygiene behaviour change posters, prompts and materials.  
  • 336,606 people accessed safe water and sanitation services thanks to new water supply systems, renovated plumbing systems, and new or rehabilitated water access points in the healthcare facilities.
  • 147 people received training in the sustainable operation and maintenance of newly installed or rehabilitated WASH facilities.
  • 73% of healthcare workers now practise improved hygiene behaviours, compared to 47% at the start of the project.
  • 86% of healthcare workers now practise effective IPC, including using gloves and facemasks, from a target of 75%.  
  • 80% of the healthcare centres now segregate waste and treat and dispose of sharps and infectious waste safely.  

Top image: Christina John, a patient, washes her hands after using the toilet at Kaigwazanga Health Centre in Mchinji, Malawi. March 2023.