President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has disclosed that the government will recruit over 10, 000 additional Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) as well as increase the number of Assistant Environmental Health Officers, Community Health Nurses, and Community Midwife Assistants to improve and boost delivery of healthcare services across the strata.
Chakwera also stated that his administration is improving health financing by improving mobilization, integration, and cost-effective utilization of resources in its quest to ensure Malawians are access optimal services from public health facilities.
He made the remarks on Tuesday when he officially launched the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Tipewe Cholera and Covid-19 Campaign, and the National Community Health Framework for 2023-2030.
He observed that the human resources gap in the Ministry of Health was compromising quality of services patients were receiving from public hospitals across the country.
“This is why I have been aggressively raising money for our health system around the world, including the billions we secured for Malawi through the Global Fund and other financiers. The President of COP28, which is taking place in the United Arab Emirates next month, also recently informed me that one of the days of the conference this year will be focused on health, and so we must make the most of these opportunities to mobilize resources for Malawi’s health sector,” he said.
The President added that his administration is looking for additional resources for the construction of 900 health posts, which are meant to be constructed as part of the roadmap whereby 30 have been completed and 45 are under construction.
He directed the Minister of Health to ensure that one health post is constructed in Likoma at Mbungwe, together with staff houses, which will be in addition to the Out-patient Department.
“As part of the roadmap, my administration has procured over 125 ambulances for the Central and District Hospitals, and I am pleased that one of these Ambulances is being handed over to Likoma today. As part of the roadmap, we are putting in place an Integrated Community Health Information System to harmonize recording and reporting.
“We are also strengthening Community Engagement by establishing and training community health structures, and enhancing social accountability of all stakeholders. Lastly, the roadmap seeks to strengthen delivery of community health services by providing an integrated community essential health services package,” he said.
Turning to the campaigns for the control of Cholera, COVID-19, and HPV, President Chakwera said the diseases have killed thousands of Malawians despite each disease being preventable.
But he expressed delight that cholera outbreak, which hit every district of Malawi, has been controlled.
“But that does not mean we can become complacent, because lately, a few districts, notably Blantyre, Chikwawa, Lilongwe and Nsanje have been reporting isolated cases of cholera. On average, we are recording about 5 cholera cases per week from these four districts, but with no deaths. We have seen a similar trend with Covid-19, where there have spikes in some isolated parts of the country, albeit without fatalities. But the fact that these diseases can have a resurgence is reason enough for us to step up our vigilance and to do whatever it takes to bring these numbers down to zero across the nation,” he said.