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Ministry of Health


The guiding principles demonstrate government’s commitment towards attainment of equitable, accessible, affordable and sustainable high-quality evidence-based health care. The following are the guiding principles for the HSSP II:

1. National Ownership and Leadership: In the interest of national development and self-reliance, all partners in the health sector shall respect national ownership and Government leadership will remain central in guiding the implementation of the HSSP II;

2. Primary Health Care: Provision of health services shall be based on the principle of Primary Health Care (PHC) as a basic philosophy and strategy for national health development.

3. Human Rights-Based Approach and Equity: The HSSP II has been developed to attempt to ensure all people in Malawi – including vulnerable population and residents of hard-to-reach areas – receive the same high quality health care regardless of geographic location or socio-economic factors.

4. Gender Sensitivity: Gender mainstreaming shall be central in the planning and implementation of all health policies and programmes;

5. Ethical Considerations: The ethical requirement of confidentiality, safety and efficacy in both the provision of health care and health care research shall be adhered to;

6. Efficiency and Effectiveness: All stakeholders shall be expected to use available resources for health efficiently and effectively to maximize health gains. Opportunities shall be created to facilitate integration of health service delivery to leverage on efficiency and effectiveness in addressing health needs of the people of Malawi;

7. Transparency and Accountability: Stakeholders shall discharge their respective mandates in a manner that is transparent and takes full responsibility for the decision they make;

8. Coordination and collaboration: Developing the health system around the principle of ‘one policy, one strategy, one M&E plan’. Additionally, promote coordination between partners operating within the health sector and across sectors addressing fragmentation and reducing duplication. 

9. Community Participation: Community participation shall be central in addressing health needs of the people of Malawi;

10. Evidence-based decision-making: Health sector strategies and activities are chosen and pursued to achieve the optimal possible ‘outcome’, based on value, effectiveness and quality, as informed by the best available evidence.

11. Decentralisation: Health service provision and management shall be in line with the Local Government Act 1998, which entails devolving health service delivery to Local Government structures; 

12. Appropriate Technology: Health care providers shall use health care technologies that are safe, appropriate, relevant and cost-effective and beneficial to Malawi.

13. Universal Health Coverage (UHC): In making the transition towards UHC, three fundamental policy questions arise: what services should be available under UHC, to whom should they be made available, and what (if any) user chargers or other arrangements should be attached to services that are not considered priorities given current circumstances.

14. Demonstrable Value for money: Ensure efficiency and effectiveness of health care services and health care service delivery. This is not confined to health interventions but ideally extents to health systems inputs also to ensure Malawi maximises its health outcomes for its inputs.

15. Accountability for results and expenditures: To ensure successful implementation of HSSP II activities performance measurement and accountability will be central to achieving health targets. This further links with value for money 

16. Sustainability: A central requirement of any system of UHC is that the range of services made available to the population is consistent with the funds available to it. Realistic planning is essential to ensuring successful implementation of activities and achievement of targets.