14 March 2019

Improving Access to Safe Water in Southern Madagascar

The southern regions of Madagascar have the country’s lowest water supply coverage and is highly vulnerable to drought. Access to potable drinking water us a major challenge for the local population. Chronic droughts lead to annual emergency appeals to save the lives of acute malnourished children. Yet the root cause of this situation is the…, A new approach to locating safe water, UNICEF Madagascar explored the use of new scientific solutions to locate deep primary water resources formed by the accumulation of water vapor in the Earth’s lower mantle. This has never been explored before in UNICEF WASH programmes, as deposits are at a considerable depth and are inaccessible by traditional water exploration methods. Their…, Testing on the ground, UNICEF implemented this innovative pilot project from October 2017 to December 2018. The geophysics study was conducted in two phases, fracture trace analysis and field survey, in the Androy region. Results revealed many fractures with a potential of water accumulation. From this, two pilot sites were identified for the drilling of deep boreholes…, Key outcomes and next steps, Although no water was retrieved from the two pilots, this new approach confirmed the main constraints encountered in the south of Madagascar in terms of water scarcity and high salinity. In addition, the methodological approach used in this study has proven the feasibility and applicability to explore deep groundwater in fractured bedrocks of…
15 December 2015

Battling Diarrhoea

After pneumonia, diarrhoea is the second biggest cause of deaths of children under five years old, responsible for 15 per cent of child deaths in low income countries in 2008 (World Health Organization, 2012). Diarrhoea accounts for nearly 760,000 deaths per year and only one third of children with diarrheal diseases receive the recommended…, THE PROBLEM, The  POUZN project  managed by USAID and UNICEF (USAID, 2010) revealed that caregivers’ treatment of the childhood diarrhoea is often incomplete due to confusion as to the correct usage of both ORS and Zinc. Often caregivers are not given instructions on how to treat a child suffering from diarrhoea with the resources made available unless they…, INTRODUCING THE SOLUTION, The challenge was to find a solution that would ensure the adequate treatment including the complete 10 day programme of zinc tablets and the simultaneous ORS treatment. The purpose was to reduce the confusion about how to treat diarrhoea with both medicines, which arose because UNICEF supplied both products separately, and each of them had their…, Challenges, There were two main challenges in developing a co-packaged solution of zinc and ORS. The first main challenge was that the supply of zinc and ORS came predominantly from different suppliers, which made it difficult for one supplier to manufacture and bundle the two medicines. Research and communication with various suppliers led to the…, The Process, The zinc and ORS medicines needed to be co-packaged in order to increase the caregivers’ compliance with the recommended course of treatment. To achieve this, an investigation of suppliers of the two medicines was conducted, and in September 2012 UNICEF met with several of them to suggest the changed product. Ongoing collaboration took place with…
29 August 2015

Nutritional Surveillance in Malawi

Originally posted on  http://www.rapidsms.org  in 2013.  UNICEF Malawi deployed RapidSMS to address serious constraints within the national Integrated Nutrition and Food Security Surveillance (INFSS) System, which was facing slow data transmission, incomplete and poor quality data sets, high operational costs and low levels of stakeholder…, COUNTRY PROFILE, Malawi is one of the world’s most densely-populated, yet least-developed countries. A small, landlocked country bordered by Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania, Malawi has remained below the United Nation’s average human development index score of sub-Saharan Africa countries due to a combination of slow economic development, poor infrastructure, the…, THE SCENARIO, In the wake of Malawi’s severe 2002 famine, the Integrated Nutrition and Food Security Surveillance (INFSS) system was set up with technical assistance from Action Against Hunger (ACF) and the support of the Malawi government, UNICEF, the European Union, and other partners. The nutrition portion of the surveillance system was structured to monitor…, THE INFSS SYSTEM FACED SEVERAL CHALLENGES, • Delays in transmission of data: there is an average of two to three months delay between data collection at health clinics and delivery of the actual forms at the government level, since data is recorded on paper and sent via mail or alternative means of transport to a centralized location. At the national level, lack of human resources lead to…, RAPIDSMS IMPLEMENTATION AND RESULTS, The Malawi RapidSMS platform was designed to keep the data input format as close to the paper format as possible. In order to make RapidSMS compatible with all mobile phones, the platform uses a string of variables entered in a predefined order within a single SMS, with the same health indicators inputted in the same order as the original system.…, LESSONS LEARNED, PROPER TRAINING IN DATA MEASUREMENTS While RapidSMS cannot directly address many broader constraints of the INFSS system, including the high prevalence of improper measurement techniques, it can help identify potential problems. Measurement inaccuracy is difficult to identify in a system of INFSS’s size, since it is impossible to observe whether…