Addressing healthy settings in Malawi
Building on the 15 years of experience of the environmental health staff from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in Malawi, the Scotland Chikhwawa Health Initiative (SCHI) (a collaboration between University of Strathclyde, University of Malawi and Government of Malawi) has secured funding (2013 – 2016) to continue with it’s work on community development in Chikhwawa District. The SCHI, led by Dr Tracy Morse and Dr Tara Beattie, will implement the Healthy Settings Approach in 18 communities around Mfera Health facility in the Southern Region District of Chikhwawa. With the aim of reducing risks to health in vulnerable communities, the project will not only address access to curative health services, but also environmental, sociological and economic determinants for health in the home, school and work environments using a community led approach.
The project will seek to develop model communities, in line with the Healthy Settings approach and integrate the principles into the associated schools, markets and health facility. The process of capacity building, community profiling, development and implementation of action plans will be supported by SCHI and partners, as it is recognised that community development of Healthy Settings must come from the community itself to ensure sustained change and improvements. The evidence base from this project will support and inform guidance and policy on Healthy Settings within the Government of Malawi Health Sector Strategic Plan (2011 – 2016) and provide sustainable methods to scale up.