By: Vincent Gunde
A local Non Governmental Organisation( NGO), Mineral and Appropriate Technology Applicable in Malawi( MATAMA), has described the unexpected and abrupt end of interventions of trachoma elimination in Dowa district as not meeting all the activities planned for the district.
MATAMA was implementing a_ three year project, F and E Trachoma elimination ( January, 2016_ December, 2019), but the project has exited with the organisation given one months to wrap up all of the project activities by end of the months of June, this year.
According to the baseline survey which the organisation conducted in 2014, trachoma prevalence rate was at 8.3%.
Speaking during a District executive council committee meeting held at the boma, the organization’s project officer, Limbani Chinyamunyamu, said the project was to contribute towards elimination of trachoma in Malawi by December, 2019.
Chinyamunyamu said since 2011, MATAMA has been complementing government efforts through constructions of community water points, Water tanks and latrines in a small town of Mponela in Dowa and Kasungu Municipality in its project which was called Thames.
He said the project had an objective of increasing access and use of sanitation facilities in targeted communities in trachoma epidemic districts and Dowa was one of them. “The project has triggered 10 schools and 40 communities in the two districts adopting self good hygiene and Open Defecation Free( ODF)”, he said.
The officer expressed vote of thanks to all of its stakeholders in the trachoma epidemic districts for working together in achieving some of the activities planned beside the abrupt end of the project.
However, Chinyamunyamu, said funding flow of the project was a challenge as they could stay for a quarterly months without funds, hence this affected implementation.
According to Chinyamunyamu, trachoma is common in women and is also associated with poverty in most of the third World countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.
The project, F and E Trachoma elimination was being implemented in Dowa district with funds from Queen Elizabeth Diamond jubilee, through the Sight Savers.