Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) has called for an increased budget towards the health sector in line with 15 percent from the Abujah Declaration.
MHEN Executive Director George Jobe spoke in Lilongwe where his organization held a working dinner with members of Parliament.
“There is a need to improve the health budget to the recommended 15 percent Abuja Declaration to address issues affecting the sector,” Jobe said. This would be an increase from $129 billion (USD) to at least $190 billion (USD).
Jobe said there is need to improve the drug budget for the district hospitals from $10.2 billion (USD) as the districts depleted the same amount before year end in 2016 and 2017.
Speaking on electricity and power, he said government should encourage the use of solar-powered electricity in rural health facilities.
“For the health sector to tick, there is need to improve intra-program resource distribution in favor of critical technical services to ensure equity. Similarly the PBB guidelines on program resource distribution should be followed and that on top of that, government should improve on the unambitious targets that are too low to allow the country to make progress in addressing critical health challenges such as reproductive, maternal and infrastructure, among others,” Jobe said while speaking at the dinner.
Jobe also asked for accountability with public resources.
“Government should review specifications of unclear targets as well as inclusion of other forgotten areas so that resources to be spent are well accounted for.
“The health workers who have graduated and are not yet employed should, in the interim, deploy to work in the remote areas where there are only one or two health personnel working in those stations. On top of that, let’s revolutionize the sector through ICT by making it move towards paperless so that healthcare workers spend more time in the actual service position,” Jobe said.
Speaking on behalf of the Parliamentary Committee Chair MP Dr. Jessie Kabwira (Salima-North West) commanded MHEN for the interface. Kabwira said the MPs will use the data given at the meeting to contribute positively in Parliament.
The policy brief also presented more key policy reflections and recommendations. The analysis was commissioned by MHEN with support from Hivos, Water Aid, United Nations Children Fund and Christian Aid.