Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Dr. Matthews Ngwale, has challenged the Malawi Government to start allocating adequate resources towards the health sector, stressing that continued dependence on the benevolence of development partners to finance the sector is risky as it is not sustainable.
Ngwale made the remarks in Lilongwe on Tuesday at the opening of the three-day 2020/21 Joint Health Sector Annual Review meeting.
The meeting is being held under the theme: ‘Sustaining Healthcare Gains Towards Universal Health Coverage’.
Among others, the meeting has drawn together a high level delegation from development partners such as the United Nations (UN) agencies, District Commissioners (DCs), District Health Offices (DHOs), chairpersons of district councils and civil society organizations (CSOs), among others.
Ngwale took advantage of this high-level conference to remind the Malawi Government about the need to wean the country from continued dependence on development partners to finance its health sector.
He said it is high time Malawi lived up to the Abuja Declaration, which seeks governments’ commitment to allocate 15 percent of their national budgets to the health sector.
“Let us continue banging our heads to deliver the best to Malawians. Let us reach out to the communities to deliver the best of care out there. As we budget, remember our health facilities need more quality health workers and adequate equipment and supplies, let us prudently use the resources we have and deliver the best,” emphasized Ngwale.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker for Chiradzulu West assured the government of his committee’s support, as it develops policy frameworks designed to deliver the best to Malawians.
He also urged the government to harness its partnerships with the donors and other development partners, the community and other sectors “because as a health sector, we can never do it alone”.
“Our existence and success depends on how best we collaborate with other sectors like the Ministry of education, whose efforts in reducing illiteracy rates will yield great results in the health sector as educated people tend to understand cause and effect much better, our gender sector whose efforts in reducing early marriage will benefit us as a sector to reduce many unwanted and unplanned pregnancies, gender based violence, our natural resources and environment where issues of environmental degradation/climate change is affecting us in the health sector-responding to a multitude of humanitarian crisis,” said Ngwale.
On a positive note, Ngwale commended the Ministry of Health for providing ‘exemplary’ leadership in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also saluted frontline health workers who worked tirelessly to respond to the pandemic thus saving thousands of lives.
“From the nurses/midwives, doctors, lab technicians and all other paramedics. This effort was notable by all from the central level even to the communities. The fact that while responding to the pandemic, the sector continues with their usual work of serving lives of Malawians must also be commended, as Malawians we did not take that for granted,” said Ngwale.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :