A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
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.