Kwataine tells nomadic JB to delegate: Asks Malawi govt to increase health budget allocation

A renowned health activist Martha Kwataine who is also Executive Director for the Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) has asked the Malawi government to consider increasing the budget allocation for the health sector in a bid to reduce the challenges it is currently experiencing.

Kwataine made the remarks on Tuesday during her presentation at a lobby meeting with Members of parliament (MP’s) at the Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.

The meeting was aimed at presenting issues and associated recommendations for redress during the Mid-term review of the national budget scheduled for mid February 2013.

“The Ministry of Finance should increase the allocation from the 12% which is in the 2012/13 budget to at least 15% of the total budget,” said Kwataine.

Kwataine: JB should sober up

Kwataine stressed that most of the challenges the health sector is facing is as a result of poor funding.

Implications

She therefore warned that “the health sector is sitting on a bomb that will explode anytime” if nothing is done.

According to the health activist, the insufficient support towards the health sector, Malawi risk losing well qualified health care workers especially doctors and clinicians who would trek abroad to seek greener pastures.

She said this put lives of patients at risk.

Appeal

Kwataine advised those in leadership position to use the government resources prudently.

She said the government should stop aid dependency syndrome describing donors as “funny”.

“Donors will always use funny excuses to withhold their aid. They talk of gay marriages which are not priorities to Malawians,” she said.

Meanwhile, the activist has called upon MP’s who are in Parliamentary Health Committee to push the government and fellow MP’s on the matter.

“Join the civil society to advocate for implementation of austerity measures-cutting salary by 30% is nothing-that can be recovered from travel through allowances, it is an open secret,” said Kwataine.

Advise

She finally advised President Joyce Banda to sober up and consider delegating other duties to some people as a way of cutting costs.

“I hope that the president sobers up and really reconsider her intentions. This is not about PP or DPP or MCP or UDF…it is about the Office of the President and how proactive we should be as a
country,” she said.

Critics are accusing President Banda of becoming “a tourist.”

Kwataine faulted the president for going around distributing maize instead of leaving it to area committees if it is a campaign tool or either use ADMARC agencies.

During her presentation, Kwataine highlighted the challenges doctors and nurses are facing while carrying out their day to day activities.

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