Ministry of Health meets Truck drivers on COVID-19 Response  

The Ministry of Health is orienting members of the truck Drivers association of Malawi and Professional Drivers Association on COVID-19 infection prevention and control of transmission as one way of fighting the pandemic. The Ministry, through the Health Education Services, has lined up meetings with truck drivers in all the regions to provide a platform for detailed information on the disease and hear out the fears and rumours that are preventing some drivers from adhering to COVID-19 instituted prevention measures.


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The Family Planning programme

The national FP programme of the RHD seeks to reduce unmet need for family planning services, unintended pregnancies as well as socio-economic disparities in contraceptive use through provision of voluntary comprehensive family planning services at all levels to all men, women and young people of reproductive age. Its objective is to strengthen availability, access to and utilization of family planning services at health facility and community levels.


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 Major Challenges

1. The control of a number of diseases such as Malaria still poses a big threat to health and lack of resources for indoor residual spraying and environmental control in high prevalence areas contributes to continuing health problems impacting on families, communities and the economy. 


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The health care system

Health services in Malawi are provided by public, private for profit (PFP) and private not for profit (PNFP) sectors. The public sector includes all health facilities under the Ministry of Health (MOH), district, town and city councils, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Public Security (Police and Prisons) and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining.


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Support for fight against TB in Mining

The World Bank is supporting the Regional TB in mining Project (part of the Africa Regional Communicable Disease Control and Preparedness Program), which aims at controlling and or eliminating priority communicable diseases on the continent. Malawi is one of the four participating countries in the project. The overarching goal of the project is to increase utilization of key TB control and occupational lung diseases services in Malawi and strengthen the sub-region’s capacity to address such conditions.


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COVID-19
Health Awareness
Health Challenges
Health Facilities
Health in Mining

 The MoH is committed to ensuring that services in the EHP are available with universal coverage for all Malawians. The signing of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with CHAM facilities for the delivery of Maternal and Neonatal Health (MNH) services is one way of ensuring that the services are accessed by everyone regardless of their socio-economic status. Evidence shows that the removal of user fees in CHAM facilities has resulted in an increase in the number of patients seeking care in these facilities.

Universal coverage also includes geographical coverage. An analysis of the proportion of Malawi’s population living within an 8km radius of a health facility (Annex 3) shows that there are certain districts that are better served than others. On Likoma Island, where there is no government facility, none of the population is served, and this district is followed by Chitipa where 51% of the population live more than 8km from a health facility, Kasungu (38%), Balaka (32%), Chikwawa and Mangochi (27%). On the other hand, in Chiradzulu, Blantyre, Mulanje and Zomba Districts less than 5% of the population reside more than 8km from a health facility.

In some rural places, the health infrastructure is absent or dysfunctional. In others, the challenge is to provide health support to widely dispersed populations. In high density urban areas, health services can be physically within reach of the poor and other vulnerable populations, but provided by unregulated private providers who do not deliver EHP services.

Annex 4 compares the number of health facilities in Malawi in 2003 and 2010: about half of the facilities in both 2003 and 2010 belonged to the MoH. Between 2003 and 2010 the number of health facilities in Malawi increased overall from 575 to 606, largely due to an increase in the number of health centres (from 219 to 258). The significant increase in MoH health centres is attributed to some public facilities, mainly maternity units and health posts, being upgraded to health centres in line with the aims of the Program of Work for the Health Sector (PoW) 2004-2006.

While new health facilities have been constructed and some existing health facilities have been renovated or upgraded, challenges still exist. The construction of Umoyo Houses32 has not been completed and staff accommodation remains a challenge, especially in hard to staff/serve areas. Rehabilitation of infrastructure is rarely done, hence the need for refurbishment. Other challenges relating to infrastructure include the lack of ICT in most health facilities, inadequate staff in the Infrastructure Unit at MoH headquarters, and inadequate funding for construction and maintenance of infrastructure and equipment.