Atupele says Malawi at critical stage, health services ‘under more strain’

Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi has said is rising population in the country is placing intolerable pressures on public services, especially health.

Atupele: There is need to work harder

Muluzi made the remarks in Parliament on the impact of current population boom to the health delivery services.

“The health service in Malawi is under more strain today than ever before. Our population continues to grow; year on year, yet the resources available to deliver the health care we have promised our people are stretched ever tighter,” said Muluzi.

He said there is need “ to work harder”  to find ways to deliver a 21st century health service that fits the needs of Malawians.

Muluzi told parliament that over the past months, his ministry has reviewed the recently announced Health Sector Strategic Plan whose main focus is towards achieving universal health coverage.

“The plan highlights the milestone achievements that my ministry has achieved over the recent years,” said Muluzi,

He said they include  reduction of mortality rates for under-fives from 112 out of 1000 live births in 2010 to 63 in 2015/2016.

It also includes the reduction in infant mortality from 66 out of 1000 live births in 2010 to 42 in 2016.

Muluzi also noted that there has been decline in maternal mortality from 675 out of a population of 100,000 in 2010 to 439 in 2016.

The Minister also said following the fallout from Cash-gate financial scandal that saw many donors retreating from supporting Malawi,  “through the hard work” of the President Peter Mutharika administration, supported by many NGOs and CSOs that work alongside the State,  the government is “slowly rebuilding that confidence.”

He said: “To ensure that we can deliver the plan effectively, we need to be significantly more efficient with what we have, driving more value from every Kwacha invested.”

The Minister pointed out that  the way in which government  partner private and public healthcare in Malawi is  “outdated” and as such, there is now need to review what can be achieved.

“We need to look at how we support our civil servants, police and armed forces and make provisions for employers to be able to look after their employees.  Government has committed to solving this problem of which a solution can be an insurance scheme,” he said,

Muluzi talked about developing a solution that to  afford a universal health care system in Malawi supported by health services that meet the medical needs of our people.

“To achieve this in a sustainable way, means being honest with ourselves about what we can afford and how we prioritise our support to individuals.  We believe that we must have an honest discussion about this and not to try to score short–term political points to the longer-term cost of our economy and critically our people.  The stakes are far too high,” said Muluzi.

With regards to current electricity criris, Muluzi conceded it has  a real impact on the health sector.

“In the last few months, we have taken delivery of 85 solar kits that are currently being fitted to 85 health care facilities across the country. The ranging sizes are depending on the requirements of those facilities, but we will ensure that the very least we can supply lights,” he said.

Muluzi said authorities are also working on a “final  solution” to establish a most sustainable off-grid power solution for the central hospitals, “ perhaps comparatively we will need to agree on the fact that we are very much dependant on these generators at the moment.”

He said the solution they are developing could provide  “a credible model for a wide range of government institutions and indeed private sector facilities.”

Said Muluzi: “ At the outset, this means looking how we can reduce the load required by installing energy saving lights, more efficient air conditioning and instilling the discipline to turn off power when not required.”

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4 years ago

You just found out??? its been under strain since your Father was president !

4 years ago

This is the problem with our politicians, there’re merely political pundits and commentators than leaders. These analytical statements being made by the minister are common facts to any ordinary Malawian. Every Malawian knows that the Ministry of Health is overwhelmingly stretched. Everyone knows that it’s services continues to evaporate, everybody knows that our population is growing and will continue to do so. What we want to know is, what is the government doing about it? I think when the minister says “we need to work very hard to find a solution”, is it a political way of saying at the… Read more »

4 years ago
Reply to  Sad

Yes indeed sad we already know these things. And if government is realizing them now then we are indeed sinking because the captain is sleeping during a heavy storm at sea. Mr Minister how do you expect a small middle-class to feed the growing population. This is expecting a poorly paid policeman to feed a bigger family without being corrupt. As sad is saying you have no clue as to what you should do as government. After mult party democracy Malawi signed a lot of regional agreements that do not help this country. Scrap those trade agreements and protect Malawian… Read more »

4 years ago
Reply to  kanchenga

Totally agree with you Kanchenga.. The problems in our country are fast approaching the non reperable stage. I am gravely concerned that in the upcoming general elections if we vote with our affiliation mentality, it will be another 10years hang before we start fixing our country. We need a government that’s gonna come in and start the repairing process. We need a government of actions not of affiliation. We need a government that’s going to make all Malawians rally around long term fixing plans of our country and that will take people like you and I to vote wisely. I… Read more »

Usatibowe Iwe Mwana Wa Cashgate
Usatibowe Iwe Mwana Wa Cashgate
4 years ago
Reply to  Sad

Well said mate. Additionally tell him that, our nhs is reeling from years of his dad’s and the mutharika’s years of reprehensible corruption.

As a matter of fact, the opposition need to challenge this man. He has no right to tell us what we already know about our nhs. The genesis of our troubled health care system and all other public welfare systems in the country is his father’s corruption.

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