Government has said hygiene is an essential tool to accelerate development.
Chief of Health Services in the Ministry of Health and Population, Dr Charles Mwansambo made the remarks when he opened a four day first ever Water Aid Global Hygiene Conference whose theme is “ Innovation , integration, scale sector strengthening and hygiene progress measurement.”
Mwansambo observed that no country could implement its development program if its people continue to suffer from hygiene related diseases.
“The promotion of global hygiene could help prevent water, sanitation and Hygiene related diseases hence achieve Sustainable Development Goal number 6.2,” Dr Mwansambo said.
He disclosed that such diseases make up about 52 per cent of the burden in hospitals in the country.
Mwansambo said government adopted the Community Led Total Sanitation in 2008 with an aim of making the country Open Defecation Free by promoting sanitation and hygiene in the communities.
He further said Malawi has made notable strides in realizing SDG 6.2 by among other things declaring 111 Traditional Authorities out 268 ODF free.
Water Aid Country Director for Malawi, Mercy Masoo said her organization made a deliberate strategic choice to have hygiene programming as one of the critical areas to put more effort on.
The conference has drawn 71 participants from 25 countries.