Health Minister Peter Kumpalume says his ministry has put strategies to strengthen and improve primary health care at health centres in a bid to reduce congestion at central and district hospitals.
He made the remarks Friday after visiting facilities at Mikundi and Nkhwazi Health Centres under the Result Based Finance (RBF) Maternal programme in Mchinji.
“My strategy for improving the health sector revolves around strengthening primary health care because if we do so, we will reduce congestion in district and central hospitals, most diseases will be dealt at health centres and not referred, let us strengthen prevention measures among communities so that many people don’t feel ill and need curative services,” the Minister said.
Kumpalume hailed the RBF programme for reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in Mchinji and other districts saying the government is committed in ending preventable maternal deaths.
‘I have been told that over the last four years there have been no maternal deaths at Mikundi health centre, this shows that the programme has made a big impact and improving safe motherhood in the country,” he said.
Result Based Financing for Maternal and Neonatal Health (RBF4MNH) Initiative aims at reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity by providing pregnant women with cash to enable them access care at participating facilities and staying in waiting homes for safe delivery.
The Minister commended the programme for improving infrastructure at health centres.
Deputy Country Director for RBF Reagan Kaluluma said he was satisfied with the progress of the initiative in the district so far.
“Pregnant women are now able to deliver at hospitals because of the initiative, men are able to support women, we are happy that this has improved livelihoods of many families,” he said.
Result Based Financing for Maternal and Neonatal Health Initiative commenced in April 2013 in four districts of Dedza, Mchinji, Ntcheu and Balaka with five participating health facilities in Mchinji district.