The programme in Malawi aims at reducing under-five child morality through decreasing incidences of diarrhoeal diseases in targeted communities in Phalombe. In carrying out this outcome, improving access to safe water supplies, household sanitation facilities, knowledge of hygiene practices, and increasing capacity of Malawi’s Red Cross staff and volunteers to manage projects, and gender and HIV and AIDS issues is also carried out. Malawi’s Phalombe district has high child mortality rates, at 87 deaths per 1000 live births, soaring above the national average of 53 deaths per 1000 live births. Phalombe also has a history of cholera, and bloody diarrhoea and dysentery are endemic, with rates rising, signalling poor personal and food-related hygienic practices. Diarrhoea hits children the hardest, and is one of the leading causes of death in the district. To compound these factors, 36% of households in the district are food insecure. The project takes place in the Phalombe district of Malawi.
Improving water, sanitation, and hygiene is approached using community-based and infrastructural improvement work. Community members and leaders are trained in key hygiene practices, and latrines and household hand-washing facilities are constructed alongside other improvements, such as water treatments, training of volunteers, awareness campaigns and project planning support. Red Cross partners and targeted communities are also included in developing effective monitoring and evaluation systems, and surveys are used to gather local attitudes and knowledge on sanitation.
Children, both those under and over five years old, are targeted, totalling some 215,000 individuals. Vulnerable populations, such as the chronically ill, individuals with HIV and AIDS, the elderly, and the ultra poor are also targeted.