Media critical in promoting promoting uptake of neonatal and child health

The Malawi Government has challenged the media to assume a greater role in promoting uptake of neonatal and child health care services and interventions.

Programme Manager for Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses in the Ministry of Health and Population, Humphreys Nsona, made the sentiments at Mponela in Dowa during an interface meeting on Friday.

The interface meeting with the journalists is a build-up activity ahead of the launch of the Integrated Child Health Strategy

Nsona addressing journalists in Mponela–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times.

in June 2021.

The strategy lays out foundation for Malawi’s path for renewed child health efforts and establishes Packaging of childcare services.

It also highlights coverage of childcare services for results and impact and further identifies new theory of change for Malawi’s efforts for improved neonatal and child care in relation to mortality reduction towards 2030.

Nsona lamented that Malawi has made minimal progress in increasing and improving uptake of neonatal and child health care services and interventions.

He said it is against this background that the ministry developed the Child Health Strategy Redesign to address the challenges that hinder the progress.

“The Child Health Strategy Redesign aims to align child health strategic plan with the Health Sector Strategic Plan III and the Global Strategy with an overall goal to ensure that all children reach their full potential. Further, we want child health programing to be inclusive of all children and as defined by the MGDS (Malawi Growth and Development Strategy) and MW2063 agenda while recognizing and fulfilling the UN Convention of Rights of the Child,” he said.

Nsona added that they want child health programmes to go beyond survival.

“We want to main

stream ‘Thrive’ as part of universal health coverage while creating a favourable environment. Additionally, we want to leverage all the other SDGs and expand delivery strategies in order to achieve universal health coverage with quality,” he said.

In her presentation, the Ministry of Health and Population’s Health Promotion Officer, Ella Chamanga, disclosed that many newborns and children die every day due to inadequate of access medical services and health information.

Chamanga added that deaths of newborns and infant contribute significantly to high rates of mortality for child mortality in Malawi.

“In Malawi, especially among rural women inadequate health information is a major public health problem. Health information allows caretakers of children to make appropriate decisions for children survival. Hence, innovative strategies are required to reach the caretakers with health information,” she said.

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