Malawi Essential Health Services Campaign

For All Campaign: country case study

Published: 9 December 2008

Malawi is one of the world’s least-developed countries, ranked number 166 of 177 countries in the UN Human Development Index. The government of Malawi, with help from the international community, has made a genuine effort to improve health care in recent years.

This report has revealed that there are still three key challenges for essential health services in Malawi: (1) access to essential medicines; (2) access to health services, compounded by user fees, especially in CHAM hospitals; and (3) the human-resource crisis.

The following actions should be prioritized in order to address these challenges:

  • Government investment in the health sector needs to be scaled up.

The government must put in place a clear plan for salaries to avoid future obstacles in the health sector that are likely to surface when the DFID project currently subsidizing health-worker salaries comes to an end.

  • Civil-society organizations must play a strong scrutiny role

Quality budget tracking is still a challenge in Malawi and international NGOs like Oxfam can play a great role in building local NGOs’ capacities on expenditure tracking.

  • Donor support must increase

All donors in Malawi should provide their aid on a long-term basis and commitments should be made in a transparent and timely manner to enable effective planning.