Partnering with the Private Sector to Purify Water in Malawi

Mr Ligowe, USAID representative briefing gathered communities on the importance of drinking safe water to prevent and control cholera in Karonga
Mr Ligowe, USAID representative briefing gathered communities on the importance of drinking safe water to prevent and control cholera in Karonga
George Chikhambi/Feed the Children Malawi

Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by drinking contaminated water or from poor food hygiene practices. An estimated 2.9 million cases and 95,000 deaths occur each year around the world from cholera and prevalence is high in Africa. Malawi encounters cholera outbreaks during the rainy season, or from September to May each year. Since 2017, Malawi has had 961 cases of cholera.

USAID teamed up with Proctor and Gamble (P&G) and Feed the Children to distribute water purification sachets to 22,000 households in Malawi in 2018 in an effort to mitigate the ongoing cholera outbreak. These distributions were accompanied by demonstrations and training on correct and consistent usage. The Proctor and Gamble Purifier of Water® is a chlorine-based solution which clarifies and disinfects water and prevents recontamination in low-hygiene environments. The packets treat 10 liters of water at a time, which is the typical amount needed for drinking and cooking needs in one day. A total of 3.6 million sachets were distributed to 304 community-based care centers benefiting 19,739 children and 15,324 households.

Treating water with an evidence-based method to remove or deactivate pathogens reduces the risk of water-borne diseases and improves health and nutrition outcomes. Louis Tukula, the District Environmental Health Officer, was grateful for USAID’s support for water purification, explaining, “We have saved many lives of children, women, and men whom we could have lost like in the last rainy season. I applaud the project for their support of P&G Purifier of Water Sachets, this is highly commendable.”

The private sector can play a key role in helping to meet the health needs of a population and to mitigate the effect of disease outbreaks. By collaborating to support the response to cholera, USAID is partnering with Malawi on its Journey to Self-Reliance.

HNS distributing waterguard to Tiwalere II beneficiaries during a cholera outbreak in Karonga
HNS distributing waterguard to Tiwalere II beneficiaries during a cholera outbreak in Karonga
George Chikhambi/Feed the Children Malawi

 

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Last updated: June 19, 2019

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