Bringing the local Tdh teams together

In November 2022, a joint retreat with the Terre des hommes (Tdh) teams from Mali and Burkina Faso took place for the first time. Organised by the Tdh Mali team, the event took place in a camp in the capital city of Bamako, and lasted for a total of 4 days.

At the heart of the gathering was the knowledge exchange between the two Tdh teams, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and the regional Health Department of Ségou, who also took part in all of the activities. During the retreat, daily inputs about the research methodology and interventions were shared, as well as suggestions on how they can be adapted to the local context and needs. The next steps for piloting the research methods and training the enumerators were also discussed.

On a field trip to Ségou, the hands4health project region in Mali, the Burkina Faso team learned from the experiences of Tdh Mali in using the WASH FIT approach in primary health care facilities. WASH FIT is a risk-based, quality improvement tool for health care facilities, recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The approach has been implemented by Tdh in Mali since 2018, and the idea is to replicate it in Burkina Faso as well. The field trip also included a special visit of the King of Ségou.

After the retreat, a member of Tdh Burkina Faso stayed with the Malian team for a few more days in Ségou, to test different research methods in the pilot health care facilities.

Looking forward

The exchange was very motivating, and the team feels ready and energised for the implementation phase in 2023, which will comprise:

  • Setting up 24 Gravit’eau handwashing stations in 12 health care centres in each of the two countries.
  • Training technicians on the chlorination of water for the Gravit’eau and from the water source, if relevant.
  • Implementing the RANAS approach to systematic behaviour change. 
  • Setting up (Burkina Faso) and reinforcing (Mali) the WASH FIT approach for the management of WASH services.  

The intervention will be structured in a randomised controlled trial, with base- and endline data collection, longitudinal monitoring and a mid-term RANAS follow-up survey. Focus group discussions with health care workers and individual interviews with key stakeholders will also be held, to understand the perceived effects of the intervention and its potential for replicability.