Scotland Chikwawa Health Initiative - improving health from community to hospital

Morse, Tracy and Lungu, Kingsley and Masangwi, Salule Joseph and Makumbi, Scatter and Grimason, Anthony and Womersley, John and West, Peter (2008) Scotland Chikwawa Health Initiative - improving health from community to hospital. Environment & Health International. pp. 23-29. ISSN 1726-9210

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The Scotland Chikwawa Health Initiative is a three year programme funded by the Scottish Executive International Development Fund which aims to achieve measurable reductions in major causes of disease and death in four villages within the Chikwawa District of Malawi alongside improving the hospital environment for the good of both staff and patients. The initiative has developed a holistic approach to health improvements through the provision of infrastructure at both health facilities and within communities, and training of government personnel and community volunteers. Specific areas targeted have included water and sanitation, maternal health, and communicable disease control with provision of training and materials to facilitate interventions and health education. At the end of the second year the programme has already seen reductions in diarrhoeal disease (30% overall in target communities), improved access to safe water, an increase in the uptake of growth monitoring and immunisations in children under the age of five years (15% increase since training volunteers), improved safe delivery of babies within the community (245 babies delivered safely in target communities with 25 referred due to complications) and increased community health activity (training and integration of village health committees, water point committees, traditional birthing attendants and health surveillance assistants). The programme hopes to act as a model for the District to follow in other communities to achieve it’s obligations under the Malawi Ministry of Health Essential Health Package.