Government keen on improving quality of health services


Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, the state President said the government in keen to improve the quality of health services to the Malawians.

He made the remarks during his State Of The Nation Address (SONA) on Friday themed “delivering economic transformation and governance reform through sacrificial action and services excellence) during the opening of the 50th session of Parliament.

Chakwera admitted that most of the systems have been blocken but they cannot all be fixed at once as the government has no resources to it.

Chakwera regards health sector as the top priority for this country to he fixed as treating every public service as priority has caused the government to spread the limited so thinly and so widely that they do not any change anything.

Making with his Address, Chakwera started with the progress that his administration has made in their quest to improve the quality of health services in Malawi.

He said the government has successfully installed 896 solar direct drug fridges, constructed cold rooms in Zomba, Mzimba South and Mangochi Districts, installed 35 solar power back up systems at district vaccine vacuum stores and procured vaccine refrigerators.

Chakwera also said that the government has successfully fulfilled the promise that they made of establishing a public health emergency operation centre (PHEOC) [which is now fully functioning], reducing new HIV infections and reached the UNH treatment target [which from 33,000 to 11, 000 between 2019 and 2025] and also made the efforts to reach UNH treatment target of 95:95:95 [Currently Malawi is at 95:90:90].

He added that the target of reducing the maternal deaths to 350 per 1000 life births is on course since February 2022 as the government has trained 523 skilled birth attendants in basic emergency, newborn care and procured 74 ambulances with ORT funds and 76 with support from the global funding.

“Our efforts have let to a reduction to 349 maternal deaths per 1000 live births according to UNICEF,” said Chakwera.

In family planning, Chakwera said the government has in the past two years conducted training and mentorship for 489 pharmacy personnel and service providers in supporting chain management and logistics which has increased the modern contraceptive rate from 38.1 % in 2012 to 62.1 % for married women in 2022.

He also said the incidences of Tuberculosis have been reduced from 141 cases per 1000 people in 2020 to 132 cases per 1000 in 2022 and the treatment rate has also increased from 88% to 90%.

The government had also recruited 6,767 health care workers who have been deployed to various health facilities across the country according to Chakwera and the government is ready to support them accordingly.

National Cancer Centre, Phalombe Hospital, construction of main building of Lilongwe institute of Orthopaedic and neurosurgery at the KCH, Area 23 Health Services facility are some of the development that the government have made in their quest to improve the quality of health services in Malawi.

“The area of public health services delivery that now needs an urgent attention is the supply of medicines, for we currently have 50 to 60 per cent availability rate of essential medicines in our hospitals and we will be priotising in this area [procuring] 95% of medicine availability at health facility level.

“We will priotise improving quality health services by the construction of the 900 rural health units [which] we started last year to ensure that we reduce the distance that our people walk to access the health services,” said Chakwera.

He further said that after the completion of Phalombe Hospital, Chikwawa, Rumphi and Dowa are next.

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