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- ItemOpen AccessMalaria Policy(Malawi Government, 2002-01-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthMaiaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly in children under five years of age and pregnant women. It is the commonest cause of outpatient visits, hospitalisation and death. Malaria is also a development problem as it has a serious socio economic impact on families and the nation,, through loss of work, school absenteeism and high levels of expenditure on malaria treatment, especially by poor households, This policy marks an important milestone in malaria control and prevention in Malawi. Organised malaria control efforts started in 1984 with the establishment of the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) to spearhead the struggle against malaria as part of the response to the emergence of chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum. The NMCP led a systematic study of the efficacy of chloroquine and other antimalarial drugs. This resulted in the development of editions of guidelines for the management of malaria in ; vS5, 1936, 1994 and 1997. In the absence of a policy to guide activities, efforts and resources by the Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) and partners nationwide, malaria control and prevention strategies and activities have been uncoordinated and incomplete. The launching of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) movement through the Abuja Declaration, which was signed bv Alncan Heads of State and Government ;n April 2000, gave malaria a high profile globally, regionally and nationally. To achieve the Abuj a targets, RBM calls for concerted efforts through the development of partnerships. The expected increased number of stake holders in malaria makes a policy essential. The policy covers the main areas of malaria control and prevention, namely effective case management, especially in children under five years of age, use of insecticide-treated nets and other vector control measures as well as operational research and information, educa tion and communication. The policy also addresses crosscutting issues such as manage ment, financing and human resources; without improvement in these areas, enhanced nitiana control and prevention efforts will not succeed. The fourth National Health Plan emphasises the need to improve the health status of all people in Malawi by "strengthening coordination and collaboration between all health partners in supporting the district health care delivery structure as the main health care delivery system". The policy has been developed within the context of essential health care peekage and sector-wide approaches.
- ItemOpen AccessNational HIV/AIDS Policy(Malawi Government, 2003-10-01) Malawi Government: National AIDS CommissionHIV/AIDS is by far the greatest development threat facing our nation today. Since the first case of AIDS was diagnosed in Malawi, in 1985, more than half a million Malawians have died of AIDS, and daily many more are infected. The epidemic has affected all sectors of our society, resulting in substantial loss of national productivity and a steep rise in the burden on individuals, households and communities. The increased impact of the epidemic continues to reduce the economic gains of the past, and to spread suffering and grief among people living with HIV/AIDS and affected households. Malawi has come a long way in responding to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. There is today widespread awareness of HIV/AIDS and how to prevent infection. Institutional frameworks and modalities have been put in place for an effective multi-sectoral response. All sectors have been mobilised in the fight, including the public sector, civil society, faith-based organisations, community groups and the private sector. These groups are playing their part in assisting orphans, caring for the sick, and combatting stigma and discrimination. Programme strategies have evolved over time to address issues of treatment and impact mitigation. At the same time, political commitment has strengthened, resulting in successful resource mobilisation. But the progress has been slow. Continuing with "business as usual" in addressing the challenges of the epidemic has meant watching scores of Malawians become infected or die every day. Every Malawian and development partner in this fight has a duty to adopt innovative ideas and to revitalise efforts to make a difference. This policy specifically calls for renewed action on the ground, and gives Malawi the opportunity to embark on a new path in this noble fight. The guidelines provided in this policy were not developed in a vacuum, but draw upon the experience and lessons of the past 15 years in combatting the epidemic. The policy balances carefully the issues of rights and responsibilities and public health considerations, and emphasises the continuum from prevention through care to treatment. The challenge now, especially among all those directly involved in programming, is to reorganise thinking and reorient efforts in this new direction. With less than 3% of adult Malawians currently knowing their HIV/AIDS serostatus, it is difficult to ensure early access to care and treatment or to plan for the future. Only a handful of Malawians in a few urban centers have access to AIDS treatment, and people living positively with HIV/AIDS continue to confront stigma and discrimination in their daily lives. The epidemic is increasingly developing a woman's face in Malawi, accelerated by inequitable power relations between men and women, young girls in particular. There is also an urgent need to strengthen human capacity across all domains of work. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the excellent work that has been done by the National AIDS Commission and its partners to make this National HIV/AIDS Policy possible. I am well aware that it has been a long journey, but the pleasing outcome has been our own 'home-grown' national policy on HIV/AIDS. It is my humble duty to personally invite all Malawian individuals, practitioners and development partners to make bold, responsible efforts to implement this robust policy in the face of this national emergency.
- ItemOpen AccessMalaria Strategic Plan(Malawi Government, 2005-01-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthMalaria is a major public health problem in Malawi. It is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children under five years of age and pregnant women. It is the most common cause of outpatient visits, hospitalization and death. Malaria is also a development problem as it has a serious socio-economic impact on families and the nation, through loss of work, school absenteeism and high levels of expenditure on treatment. The government of Malawi through the Ministry of Health and its partners are committed to controlling malaria in the country. As part of the malaria control strategies, the Ministry has developed several guiding malaria documents one of which is the National Malaria Strategic Plan for 2005 to 2010. Using the Strategic Plan as a guide, Annual Action Plans will be developed every year. While the purpose of the Malaria Strategic Plan for 2001 to 2005 encompassed renewed efforts to reduce malaria morbidity and mortality in the context of multi-sectoral implementation of malaria control activities, the Malaria Strategic plan for 2005 to 2010 will focus on “scaling up” of malaria control activities in the context of the Essential Healthcare Package (EHP) and sector-wide approaches. The main strategic areas that have been identified for the scale-up of malaria control activities, include, among others, Malaria Case Management, Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPT) of pregnant women with SP and malaria prevention with special emphasis on the use of Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITNs). I am hopeful that concerted efforts to implement this Malaria Strategic Plan with the support of global, regional and national partners will enable Malawi to significantly reduce the health and socioeconomic burden of malaria.
- ItemOpen AccessNational Nutrition Policy(Malawi Government, 2005-01-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthAdequate nutrition is a pre-requisite for human capital development. Improving the nutritional status of the people of Malawi is therefore, one of my Government’s top priorities. In order to ensure adequate nutrition in Malawi, my Government has developed the National Nutrition Policy (NNP). The goal of the policy is to facilitate improvement of the nutritional status of all Malawians, with special emphasis on vulnerable groups such as pregnant and lactating mothers, children below the age of 15 years, orphans, the elderly and people living with HIV and AIDS”. The purpose of the Policy is to raise national awareness on the magnitude of the nutrition problems in Malawi their impact in the economy with a view to provide guidance and galvanise the nation towards the achievement of acceptable levels of nutrition for purposes of effective contribution to economic growth and development of the country. My government has developed the National Nutrition Policy having noted that the Food Security and Nutrition Policy of 1990 and other development policies that contain elements of nutrition did not give adequate attention to nutrition. Additionally, there was vertical implementation of nutrition programmes within different sectors and limited resource allocation. This policy will facilitate standardisation, coordination and improvement of the quality of nutrition services delivery within all sectors of the economy. In 2005, I directed that the Food and Nutrition Security Policy be split into two namely; Food Security Policy and National Nutrition Policy to be championed by Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security; and the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS in my office respectively. The Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS is therefore, mandated to spearhead the implementation of the Nutrition Policy through provision of policy direction and guidance; coordination, capacity building, resources mobilisation and monitoring and evaluation. To realize the policy’s goal, there is need for active participation of all stakeholders in the implementation process. I am therefore calling upon all Malawians and partners to support the implementation of this policy.
- ItemOpen AccessRoad Map for Acceralating the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Morality and Morbidity in Malawi(Ministry of Health, 2005-10-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthThe Government of Malawi has over the years provided sexual and reproductive health services including maternal and newborn health care to its people. The Government with the support from various development partners has implemented several safe motherhood programmes in various districts of the country. Despite all these efforts the maternal mortality has continued to rise. A number of studies have helped to throw light on the maternal mortality situation in the country. These studies have suggested an urgent need to further strengthen the Ministry of Health for the provision of quality health care services in order to reduce the high maternal and newborn mortality. Consequently the Reproductive Health Unit of the Ministry of Health conducted a national EmOC assessment to identify the capacity of the health care delivery system to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and to propose an action orientated plan: hence the development of this road map. This road map was developed with financial as well as technical support, from WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF. It stipulates various strategies which will guide policy makers, development partners, training institutions and service providers in supporting government efforts towards the attainment of MDGs related to maternal and newborn health.
- ItemOpen AccessSurvival and retention strategies for Malawian health professionals(University of malawi, 2005-11-01) University of Malawi, College of MedicineThis paper was produced under the theme of work on Human Resources for Health in the Regional Network for Equity in Health in east and southern Africa (EQUINET) in co-operation with Health Systems Trust South Africa. Malawi, like many southern African countries, is facing a critical human resources for health (HRH) crisis, preventing it from delivering acceptable quality health care services to its population. The reasons underlying the shortage of health professionals are multiple and include limited output from training institutions, high attrition rates resulting from migration and disease, and increased workloads because of HIV and AIDS. Despite the increasing levels of migration of health professionals from Malawi which have caught international attention, many continue to serve their country. The challenges encountered by these health workers (which may eventually become push factors), and the coping or survival strategies that they utilise deserve attention if any meaningful solutions to retain health professionals in Malawi are to be developed. Health professionals employ a range of survival strategies including: • reliance on per diems/allowances from workshops and seminars • saving on stipends from long-term training programs • business activities • working in places where the cost of living is perceived to be lower • pilfering of drugs • dual practice (working in both private and public sector), • consultancy work • being paid for work not done at one institution while working for another employer. In order to retain health professionals in Malawi, we advocate for: • debt relief and advocacy toward the IMF and World Bank to end restrictions on hiring and increasing remuneration for health workers; • mandatory public sector employment after graduation from health training institutions; • strengthening of the health professionals’ association to enhance unionism and collective bargaining; and • provision of free anti-retrovirals (ARVs) to health professionals.
- ItemOpen AccessNational Community Home Based Care Policy and Guidelines(Malawi Government, 2005-12-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthThe HIV/AIDS epidemic has affected all sectors of the economy in Malawi. The health sector has experienced increasing number of patients with HIV/AIDS related infections admitted in hospitals. Most of the patients are chronically ill and although they are discharged in a stable state, they require ongoing care in the home. Care of chronically sick people in the home has existed in the past in different societies. Home care draws on two strengths that exist throughout the world: families and communities. They form the basis of Community home based care v/h \BC i. CHBC provides hope to patients as they receive care in their natural strhngo. maintain independence and achieve the best possible quality of life. T u need for policy and guidelines for CHBC has been urgent; Non vernmental, Community and Faith Based Organization, have been providing CHBC services without any guidelines. This document will assist programme managers, health and social workers in planning, designing, implementation and c luati on of Community Home Based Care services in Malawi. Adherence to the >hcy and guidelines by all implemcniers will ensure improved service delivery, coordination and networking amongst stakeholder institutions at all levels. » r t r ' of Health wishes to appeal to all government agencies, the donor co:nmi..-iity NGOs, FBOs, Civil society and communities to get involved and • • i ate in providing care and support to indiv iduais, families and communities i I ne - ith this policy. Your dedication and commitment is vital in improving the 1 1 ih, -f life for chronically ill patients.
- ItemOpen AccessNational Sanitation Policy(Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development, 2006-05-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of Irrigation and Water DevelopmentThe National Sanitation Policy has been under development since December 2005. It has been developed by the Sanitation Core Team (SCT), an inter-departmental group of middle ranking and senior staff from the Ministries of Irrigation and Water Development, Health, Education, Gender, Child Welfare and Community Development, Natural Resources (Dept. of Environmental Affairs), Lands and Housing and Survey, Agriculture and Food Security, and Local Government and Rural Development. Over four months the SCT has researched the hygiene and sanitation situation in Malawi, visiting rural and urban communities in the North, South and Central Regions as well as in the cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre and Karonga Town. A series of four reports from this research has been produced, with the following titles: 1. Sanitation in Malawi's Rural Areas 2. Sanitation in the Cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre 3. Sanitation in Malawi's Towns 4. Sanitation in Schools in Malawi In the rural areas the SCT has paid special attention to the differences between villages where sanitation projects have been active and where there have been no projects, in order to assess both the effectiveness of project approaches and to learn lessons for the creation and formulation of the rural part of the Policy. In the towns and cities the SCT visited and researched with communities in peri-urban areas, urban slums and traditional housing areas. The SCT has worked in partnership with staff from district, city and town assemblies, water boards, hospitals, schools, prisons, NGOs as well as with householders and community members. Thanks and acknowledgements are due to all those who took part and were open and honest in casting light on shortcomings and opportunities that they saw in the sanitation sector. It is only through such transparency that solutions can be found and a useful and practical National Sanitation Policy formulated for a better life for all Malawians, Umoyo Wabwino! The National Sanitation Policy is important because it will help to shape the development of Malawi for years to come. So far there has been no single sanitation policy in Malawi. Various pieces of legislation, some dating back to the colonial period, have been used to guide sanitation development in Malawi. Many of these are now antiquated and irrelevant to the future development of the Country and a single policy is now needed to give guidance to all, from Government departments to householders in rural and urban communities, from local government to NGO's and international donors, on just what Malawi feels it needs in the hygiene and sanitation sector to take it forward in the 21st Century to reach its 2020 Vision. Namely: "by the year 2020, Malawi as a God-fearing nation, wilt be secure, democratically mature, environmentally sustainable, self reliant with equal opportunities for active participation by all, having social services, vibrant cultural and religious values and a technologically driven middle-income economy"1 The Policy will enhance the capacity of Malawi to meet its commitments to reach its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of halving the number of people who do not have access to basic sanitation by 2015, it will also go further by helping to empower the people of Malawi to achieve universal access to improved sanitation by 2020.
- ItemOpen AccessMalawi Standard Treatment Guidelines(Malawi Government, 2009-01-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthMedicine is a dynamic science and therefore it is important that publications such as the Malawi Standard Treatment Guidelines (MSTG) be revised at short intervals. Revision of the 3rd edition of the MSTG started with a consultative meeting of stakeholders followed by editorial meetings and finally the approval process by members of the National Medicines and Medical Supplies Committee. The MSTG includes key information on the selection, prescribing, dispensing and administration of medicines. It is designed as a digest for rapid reference and it may not always include all the information necessary for prescribing and dispensing. It should therefore be interpreted in the light of professional knowledge and supplemented as necessary by specialised publication and by reference to product literature. Pursuant to the African Union Assembly Abuja Declaration of 2005, Malawi like other member states of the Union aims at putting 15% of the National budget towards towards the health budget. Resources, particularly financial resources for health service delivery are often scarce. Prudent use of these resources through improved diagnosis, rational prescribing, dispensing and use of medicines is paramount. The MSTG aims at standardizing prescribing and dispensing practices. The 4th edition MSTG provides prescribers and dispensers with the currently recommended treatment as well as preventative schedules for most common disease states found in the country. I would like to thank all those who took time to review the previous edition. Your contributions are greatly appreciated. I look forward to your continued support and contributions to future reviews of the MSTG and other relevant publications.
- ItemOpen AccessNational Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Policy(Ministry of Health, 2009-04-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthThe Malawi Government is committed to providing comprehensive and integrated Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRHR) services in line with the recommendations of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo, Egypt, 1994. Malawi is also a signatory of the AU Maputo Plan of Action which advocates for integrated SRHR Plan. The Ministry of Health through the Re productive Health Unit has since 1997 coordinated the integration, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of SRHR services at all levels. The Malawi National Re productive Health Programme is the framework through which the Ministry of Health manages SRHR services. The National RH programme goal is to promote through informed choice, safer reproductive health practices by men, women, and youth including use of quality and accessible reproductive health services. In 2002, The Reproductive Health Unit (RHU) developed the Reproductive Health (RH) Policy to guide implementation of SRHR services. The SRHR policy has facili tated coordination between all stakeholders, guided decision makers, protected clients and providers, and provided a justification for allocation of resources. The revision of the SRHR Policy came about due to the need to incorporate emerg ing issues in various components of SRHR and these include Basic Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care (BEmONC); Community Based Maternal and Neonatal Care; Cervical Cancer Screening; Youth Friendly health Services, Anti Retroviral Therapy, and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT). The emerging issues are in line with both national and international recommendations on SRHR services. These include the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS); African Union SRHR policy guidelines; The Malawi Reproductive Health Strategy 2006 -2010; Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); The Road Map for Accelerat ing the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality and Morbidity in Malawi; and Malawi Gender Policy. Revision of the SRHR Policy involved consultations with organizations implementing RH services, individual health experts, programme managers, health regulatory bodies, training institutions and implementers. The whole exercise would have not been possible without technical and financial support from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The Ministry of Health would like to thank all individuals and institu tions for their contributions towards successful revision of this document. The Ministry of Health urges all public and private institutions to make maximum use of this policy for proper guidance during implementation of SRHR services.
- ItemOpen AccessMalaria Communication Strategy for Malawi Policy(Malawi Government, 2009-11-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthMalaria is a major public health problem in Malawi. It is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children under five years of age and pregnant women. It is the most common cause of outpatient visits, hospitalization and death. Malaria is also a developmental problem as it has a serious socioeconomic impact on families and the nation, through loss of work, school absenteeism and high levels of expenditures on treatment. The government of Malawi through the Ministry of Health and its partners are committed to controlling malaria in the country. As part of malaria control strategies, the Ministry has developed several guiding malaria documents one of which is the Malaria Communication Strategy for Malawi for 2009 to 2015. Using the strategy as a guide, behaviour change communication will lead to improved community uptake of malaria control interventions. The main malaria behaviours that need to be adopted and maintained by individuals, families and communities, include, among others, Malaria Case Management, Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPT) of pregnant women with SP and malaria prevention with special emphasis on Insecticide Treated Nets/ Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs / LLINs) and Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS). I am hopeful that concerted efforts to implement this malaria communication strategy with support of global, regional and national partners will enable Malawi to significantly reduce the health and socioeconomic burden of malaria.
- ItemOpen AccessHuman Resource Development Policy for the Public Health Sector(Malawi Government, 2010-01-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthThe Human Resource Development Policy is aimed at putting in place systems to ensure that training is well organised, transparent, fair and cost effective. The policy will serve as a planning reference and management tool for all investments in training and staff development. The development of the HRD policy is therefore a clear testimony of the Ministry’s commitment to training and staff development. The Ministry will create a conducive environment that will provide an opportunity to all health workers to continuously learn so as to equip them with the requisite skills to effective implement the Essential Health Package. The policy will also be used as a lens of continuous learning and an integral part of change in the Ministry particularly now when the Ministry is going through a number of reforms under the Sector Wide Approach. It is expected that the implementation of this policy will promote a culture of continuous learning and development. At the same time, building a professionally competent workforce in the public health sector in Malawi. The end result is a health sector that is continuously supplied with the appropriate skills mix and capacity to develop, support and implements targeted service delivery interventions at every level of the health care system. My Ministry therefore considers the development of this policy as big milestone and a catalyst for effective implementation of the Essential Health Package in the context of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy.
- ItemOpen AccessDraft National Environmental Health Policy(Malawi Government, 2010-05-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthThe Malawi Government is concerned about the high disease burden the country is experiencing. Most of these diseases are attributable to avoidable environmental risk factors. Malaria accounts for about 48% of all causes of morbidity followed by Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) and diarrheal diseases at 17% and 8.7% respectively (HMIS08). The Ministry of Health has set out most of these as priority diseases in the Essential Health Care Package. The challenge therefore is how to reduce the disease burden through environmental health interventions. Environmental health encompasses the assessment and control of all physical, chemical and biological factors that can potentially affect the health of individuals. It is targeted towards preventing diseases and creating a health supportive environment. The Malawi Government adopted a National Environmental Health policy in 2011 in order to provide guidance on implementation of environmental health interventions. The policy ought to achieve the following: To increase the coverage of environmental health interventions in Malawi. To increase public awareness of environmental health issues in Malawi. To improve coordination and collaboration between various stakeholders in the implementation of environmental health interventions. The policy has been developed in line with international declarations which Malawi is a signatory and these are: Libreville Declaration on Health and Environment, held in Libreville in 2008, Ethekwini Declaration on Hygiene and Sanitation, 2008, Africa Health Strategy (of the African Union), 2007-2015, UN Millennium Declaration and subsequent Millennium Development Goals, 2000, Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 1992 and the Alma-Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care, 1972. Environmental health activities are being implemented in the country by different partners. The activities have been implemented without proper guidance and direction. This even affected monitoring of the services since there was no standard for implementation of the activities. The policy has set out the core functions of environmental health which should guide every institution: Governmental or Non governmental that is implementing such services at all levels. It is my sincere hope that all stakeholders in the country will use this policy in order to contribute to the reduction of disease burden thereby improving MDGs 4, 6 and 7 and also the poverty levels and economic development in the country.
- ItemOpen AccessHuman Resources for Health Country Profile Malawi(Malawi Government, 2010-12-01) Malawi Government: Malawi Health Workforce ObservatoryThe Human Resource for Health (HRH) Malawi Country Profile is to serve as a tool for providing a comprehensive picture of the health workforce situation in Malawi. This has been achieved through the presentation of the current situation regarding health policies and management systems, the human resources management information system (HRMIS); and by providing the picture of previous and current stock of health workers in the country as a basis for baseline information on prevailing trends. The profile will therefore facilitate information sharing nationally and also for cross-country comparisons, especially in the Sub Saharan Africa, and contribute towards producing regional HRH country profiles. The task of updating the HRH Malawi Profile was basically a cross-sectional desk study that adopted descriptive and analytical methodologies where both qualitative and quantitative data and information were compiled from available reports, studies and statistics related to HRH from public and private health sector stakeholders. Personal consultations, telephone interviews and field visits were also conducted with identified representatives from different stakeholders to fill in the HRH information gaps. The establishment of a National HRH Observatory is currently strongly recommended to facilitate production, sharing and use of quantitative and qualitative information on HRH in order to support the development and implementation of the future HRH policies and plans. In future, one of the main activities of the National HRH Malawi Observatory will be to periodically update the HRH country profile. The current exercise of up-dating the HRH Malawi Country Profile is therefore a stop-gap measure in order to present a situational picture of the HRH in Malawi and facilitate a reasonable comparison of the HRH challenges and policy responses in Malawi with those of other countries in the region. Since Malawi is still in the process of developing and establishing the proposed National HRH Observatory, some of the data and information were not readily available to fill all HRH gaps. However, a few important consultations with experienced professionals well versed with HRH issues and the HMIS, from the Central Monitoring and Evaluation Division (CMED), were done to provide realistic estimates to fill such gaps. These estimations were validated either by important HRH peers in the HRTWG or from key personnel from the MoH and the health sector fraternity in the country.
- ItemOpen AccessMalaria Strategic Plan towards Universal Access Policy(Malawi Government, 2011-01-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthThe Ministry of Health (MoH) is pleased to present the new Malaria Strategic Plan for 2011-2015. Malaria continues to be the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in our country, with an estimated six million cases each year representing about 40% of the burden of illness in our health facilities. It is not selective, and all of us are at risk. However, malaria is a disease that can be prevented and treated effectively. This new Strategic Plan covering the next five years will provide the leadership and evidence-based direction needed to move confidently toward elimination of malaria as a public health threat in Malawi. The primary goal of this new plan will be the achievement of Universal Coverage in the prevention and treatment of malaria, reducing by half the 2010 levels of malaria morbidity and mortality in Malawi by the year 2015. This means every citizen of Malawi will be reached with all malaria interventions including care and effective cure. Over the period of the previous Malaria Strategic Plan (MSP) 2005-2010, the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) and its partners achieved significant improvements in addressing this dread disease, which has challenged not only the lives of our citizens but also the economic development of Malawi as a nation. As just one example, in the last two years, the government and its partners distributed 3.7 million long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs) for prevention. And in the next five years ahead, we will distribute millions more of these bed nets with the goal of having one net for every two people, in line with international best practices. In addition we will introduce the nationwide use of Rapid Diagnostic Tests so that every suspected case of malaria will be properly and promptly diagnosed and treated. In addition, malaria program management, drug procurement, distribution, monitoring and evaluation, and service delivery will be strengthened so that all malaria interventions will be provided in an integrated manner at all levels of the delivery system, including in communities and homes. We have a particular problem with malaria in Malawi, which is our belief about the nature of this disease. We are very worried about a death from AIDS or TB, but when it comes to malaria, we have become too accepting of its presence in our lives. Our perception of this disease must change to the point that everyone understands that malaria is not inevitable: it can be prevented and controlled if we all know how and when to take action. Accordingly, we will deliver widespread behavior change messages and education campaigns to empower communities to take charge of their own health by increasing use of Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITNs), speeding up the seeking of treatment at a facility for malarial symptoms, and encouraging a health-supportive and timely response to malaria at the community and household level. We have been paying a heavy price for malaria in illness, death, malnutrition, and losses of economic and social well-being. I therefore challenge all Malawians - parents, children, leaders, civil servants, health workers, all - to learn about this disease and take up the fight to prevent it and treat it when it occurs. We can defeat this disease only when we all play our parts.
- ItemOpen AccessOpen Defecation Free Malawi Strategy 2011-2015(Malawi Government, 2011-01-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water DevelopmentThe Government of Malawi is committed to providing adequate, reliable and sustainable sanitation and hygiene promotion services to the people of Malawi to attain its vision of ensuring “Sanitation for All in Malawi”. With 11% of the population still defecating in the open, The ODF Malawi 2015 Strategy has been developed to ensure complete elimination of open defecation in rural Malawi by 2015. The strategy compliments a number of other strategic initiatives being undertaken by Government for both the urban and rural communities that include the development of National 10 Year Sanitation and Hygiene Investment Plan and Strategy, and the Sanitation and Hygiene Master Plan for Low income areas. The ODF Malawi, 2015 Strategy is in line with one of the provisions within National Sanitation Policy 2008 which states that “Open defecation shall not be tolerated in Malawi”. This is in addition to creating public awareness on improved sanitation, creating effective linkages between all relevant sanitation stakeholders and promotion of integrated and holistic planning, development and design of sanitation and hygiene promotions initiatives and programmes. The policy also stresses the need for undertaking relevant training and capacity building of government staff, school children, teachers and community members in sanitation and hygiene promotion related issues. The strategy basically aims at aligning, synchronizing and harmonizing sanitation and hygiene initiatives and interventions towards meeting the goals of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) II. In addition, it is meant to guide the country in achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Numbers 1, 3, 4, 5,6 and 7 by the year 2015.
- ItemOpen AccessMalawi Health Sector Strategic Plan(Ministry of Health, 2011-01-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthIt is the desire of the Government of Malawi to have the highest possible level of health and quality of life for its citizens. Improving the health of the nation through the combined efforts of individuals, communities, organizations, our co-operating partners and the Government is therefore one of the key priorities. The formulation and launch of the national Health Sector Strategic Plan (2011-2016) build on the sustained gains made under the Program of Work (2004-2010). Considerable improvements in the delivery of an Essential Health Package (EHP) have been registered in reducing infant and child mortality rates, pneumonia case fatality and maternal mortality, and in maintaining high immunization coverage, among other areas. Unlike the Program of Work, this Plan has taken further measures to address the burden of disease by delivering an expanded EHP through public health interventions including but not limited to health promotion, disease prevention and increasing community participation. The Plan provides the framework that will guide the efforts of the Ministry of Health and all stakeholders over the next 5 years in contributing to the attainment of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS-II) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In cognizance of this, therefore, the emphasis will be on increasing coverage of high quality EHP services; strengthening performance of the health system to support delivery of EHP services; reducing risk factors to health and improving equity and efficiency in the delivery of free, quality EHP services in Malawi, thereby contributing to poverty reduction and the socio economic development of the nation. The successful implementation of this plan will depend on the continued dedication of staff in the Ministry of Health and those of its partner organizations. We welcome the support of our co-operating partners, we gratefully acknowledge their contribution towards the development of the HSSP and look forward to their continued support in its implementation. As a policy document that we have jointly formulated, it is my sincere hope that it will henceforth become the single most important point of reference for design of service delivery programmes, resource mobilization and health financing framework, as it embodies our dream for a better health care delivery system for all the people of Malawi.
- ItemOpen AccessNational Hand Washing Campaign Policy(Malawi Government, 2011-10-11) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthThe Government of Malawi through the Ministries of Health, and Agriculture Irrigation and Water Development is implementing a sanitation and hygiene promotion programme which is aimed at reducing water, sanitation and hygiene related diseases. The hygiene promotion component is advancing three inter-related and inter-connected domains: hand-washing with soap (HWWS); safe disposal of faeces; and safe storage and use of drinking water. While research shows that any one of these domain can reduce diarrhoeal disease in under the age of five by 32% to 45% (Curtis, et. Al., “Saving Lives”, 2004), research has also shown that advocating the use of a combination of these domains increases the likelihood of behaviour change and practices (EHP II, “Changing Hygiene Behaviours”, 2002) However, the idea of the hand washing campaign is as a result of an assessment of benefits of hand washing with soap in reducing various hygiene related diseases. Hand washing with soap is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrhoeal diseases and pneumonia, which together account for about 3.5 million child deaths annually. Hand washing with soap also reduces the incidence of skin diseases; eye infections such as trachoma; and intestinal worms, especially ascariasis and trichuriasis and enteric viruses. Despite having all these success stories about hand washing with soap, not much is being done in reinforcing the scaling up of this intervention. Evidence of actual hand washing practice is scanty but studies in rural areas suggest that the actual practice of HWWS at critical times is between 3 – 18% but more likely on the low end of this scale. Currently, efforts to promote hygiene and hand washing with soap in particular, have not been sufficient enough to bring about mass behaviour change on the scale that is needed. The proposal for the National Hand Washing Campaign has therefore been developed with an aim of transforming the piecemeal and ad hoc efforts into a single well coordinated comprehensive intervention. The campaign will complement the global efforts of promoting hand washing with soap whereby Global Hand Washing Day (GHWD) was already declared on every 15th October. The campaign will assist to transform hand washing practice from being a single day’s activity into a routine, all year round behaviour thereby forming people’s habits. The campaign is in line with the national goal of ensuring that all people in Malawi practice safe hygiene as outlined in the Health Sector Strategic Plan (2011 – 2016) and the National Sanitation Policy. The development of the proposal was rigorous, involving all relevant stakeholders and structures that oversee implementation of hygiene promotion activities. These include the National Sanitation and Hygiene Coordinating Committee, technical working group on sanitation and hygiene and government & Non Governmental Organizations through a consultative workshop. The proposal is therefore being presented to development partners and donors for the purpose of soliciting funds and other contributions towards implementing the proposed 3 activities that have been planned to run for one full year with an objective of accelerating the adoption of hand washing with soap behaviour in Malawi especially among the vulnerable groups (the poor, mothers & caregivers, and young children).
- ItemOpen AccessNational Health Research Agenda 2012-2016(Ministry of Health, 2012-01-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthThe Government of the Republic of Malawi (GoM) subscribes and reaffirms its commitment to the philosophy and ideals of the internationally agreed development goals that include the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). At a national level, Malawi has her own national development strategy called the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDS II) that covers the period from 2011 to 2016. The MGDS II is, in essence, a conduit through which GoM advocates her commitment towards achieving the MDGs. While the MDGs 4, 5 and 6 directly relate to human health that require national governments to make efforts in realizing them, the MGDS II has equally isolated health sector as one of the key social development sub-theme requiring the attention of the Government. As an area of focus within the MGDS II, the health sub-theme (comprising of Public Health, Sanitation, Malaria, and HIV and AIDS Management) was recognized and espoused as one of the nine key priority areas. In contributing to the achievement of the health related goals of the MDGs and MGDS II, Malawi through the Ministry of Health, developed the Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP) covering the same period as the MGDS II. The success of the HSSP in achieving better health service delivery depends on careful evidence-based policy and decision making. Health research provides evidence based policy and decision making. It is acknowledged world over that research requires enormous amount of resources which are often limited. When operating in an environment of limited resources, it becomes prudent to set priorities on which concerted effort could be targeted. The GoM with support from its partners has, therefore, developed this National Health Research Agenda, as a policy document, that directs priorities in health research covering the period from 2012 to 2016 to be implemented in tandem with the MGDS II and HSSP. While the Government of Malawi appreciates the diversity of needs and interests of different stakeholders in health research, stakeholders are called upon to ensure that research in Malawi is addressing the research priorities that have been outlined in this document during the period of its implementation. It is, therefore, expected that stakeholders will take deliberate steps to conduct and support research in the identified priorities. The Government of Malawi will endeavor to channel resources to support research in these priorities. A special appeal is being made to all co-operating partners, both national and international, to support the undertaking of research in the identified areas.
- ItemOpen AccessNational Tuberculosis Control Programme 2012- 2016(Malawi Government, 2012-01-01) Malawi Government: Ministry of HealthTuberculosis continues to ravage our country health-wise and socio-economically. The highly productive age group is highly affected resulting to a reduction in their contribution to socio economic development of the country. This has been largely attributed to a high TB/HIV co infection. Tuberculosis is also compounded by the emergence of other complicated forms of TB such as Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB), which are difficult and costly to cure thus posing a serious threat to TB control. Achieving effective TB Control requires concerted efforts at all levels. Hence, in 2007 the Ministry of Health declared TB an emergency in order to raise awareness and advocate for more action by all stakeholders as a way of containing the TB problem. One of the initiatives embarked on in 2007 is the Universal Access to TB diagnosis and care. This entails a shift from centralized institutional DOTS to more innovative ways of reaching out to the general population of Malawi by ensuring that everybody regardless of socio-economic status has access to TB diagnosis and care. This 5 year plan provides an outline of what the programme plans to implement from 2011-2016 in order to reduce the burden of TB in Malawi. At local level, the plan has been aligned with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) and the Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP) while at Global level, the plan is aligned with the WHO Stop TB Strategy. It is this plan that will guide Malawi towards achieving the TB related Millennium Development Goals.