Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi says if resources from donor partners are used efficiently and for intended purposes, it could help improve the health sector in the country.
He was speaking after touring Mchinji District Hospital on Tuesday to appreciate the Results Based Financing [RBF] maternal and neonatal health programme.
The Results Based Financing for Maternal and Neonatal Health initiative was designed to increase uptake and improve quality of care during child birth through improvement of infrastructure and equipment, provision of financial incentives to health workers and conditional cash transfers to pregnant women in health facilities in four districts in the country.
He said the RBF initiative is one of the programmes funded by donor partners which is going a long way in improving the lives of mothers who were previously delivering their babies at traditional birth attendants,
“During the eight weeks I have been at the Ministry of Health, I have seen the impact the programme has on mothers who are able to find maternity support closer to home and have their babies in a safe and secure environment hence reducing maternal mortality rate,” he explained.
Muluzi said the programme is result focused as seen by pregnant mothers who are accessing health services at hospitals and incentives which are a motivation to the health staff.
“It is encouraging that the programme also rewards our health personnel for the good work because I believe health workers in the country work hard and they need to be rewarded in every possibly way,” he said.
The minister then called on traditional leaders and communities to own the programme for it to be a success in promoting safe motherhood.
In his remarks Deputy Country Director for the RBF pogramme, Reagan Kaluluma said the RBF initiative has supported the construction of waiting hostels and provision of beds and mattresses in 14 health facilities in Balaka, Ntcheu, Dedza and Mchinji districts.
“The provision of cash to pregnant mothers has also enabled mothers to deliver at health facilities on time and buy delivery related items,” he added.
He commended the good working relationship with ministry of health officials, traditional leaders which has enabled the programme to be a success.
The RBF programme was initiated by the government of Malawi and is funded by Germany and Norwegian governments.