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Published on: 01/08/2023

"Before working with IRC, maternity clinics were not in the municipality's action plans. Today, we are improving the working and living conditions of healthcare workers in maternity clinics."

– Sidi Diarra, deputy mayor of Nossombougou

Celebrating the signing of the memorandum of understanding with the commune of NossombougouSince 2018, IRC Mali has supported the districts of Nossombougou, Ouolodo and Tioribougou to improve WASH services. We began by developing master plans, and improving access to basic water services in healthcare facilities and schools.

In 2021, six healthcare facilities across the three districts achieved basic water services where they had none before. M'béné Konare, a mother of two from Dourako village, was grateful for the improvements which guaranteed the safer birth of her second child, and said "I hope these improvements continue to ensure a healthier future for our children and families".

We worked closely with the three local governments to create awareness of the poor conditions of healthcare facilities and advocate for change. Mayors responded by incorporating maternity clinics in their municipality
development plans. "Today, maternity clinics are at the forefront of our preoccupations," said Sidi Diarra, deputy mayor of Nossombougou.

In 2022, the Directorate-General for Health and Public Hygiene (DGSHP) of the Mali government committed to include rural maternity clinics in the revision of the healthcare system. At a workshop organised by DGSHP and supported by WHO, the decision was made to adapt WASH FIT for use in the Mali context. WASH FIT is a digital tool designed to help health care facilities improve the quality of care through improved WASH.

In October 2022, we signed an agreement with UNICEF which helped us establish new partnerships with the communes of Nonkon, Dandoli and our new partner area, N'Goutjina. Although there has been progress in political commitment, we are aware of the risks including funding, climate change and political instability.

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