By Chris Loka:
Government through the ministry of health say it remains committed to providing necessary support for effective implementation of community health programs especially at district council and community level.
Minister of health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda made the remarks during the official launch of the National Community Health day in Malawi at Kapiri ground in Mchinji district.
Chiponda said Government through the ministry of health is on a mission to ensure that community health services are affordable, culturally acceptable, scientifically appropriate, and accessible to every household through community participation in order to promote health and contribute to the socio-economic status of all people in the country.
She also called upon all the partners and stakeholders to continue supporting government in the health sector saying achieving global health coverage needs collective efforts.
“I urge our development and implementing partners, private sectors, community leaders, district councils, communities, to continue supporting government in its community health agenda to significantly contribute to attain the national and international health goals and targets,” she said
According to Kandodo, government is working tirelessly to address critical challenges such as access to health care services especially to communities residing in hard-to-reach areas, shortage of Community Health Workers such as Health Surveillance Assistants.
Among others, government is also geared up address lack of community health infrastructures such as health posts and housing units for community health workers; vibrant transport system and community health supplies.
Chairperson of Health Donor Group Rudolf Schwenk commended government for its efforts in promoting community health in various districts.
“Community health programmes are essential for not only bringing critical services to the hardest-to-reach children and their families but also to provide an essential channel for emergency response teams.
“Government of Malawi’s investments on life-saving interventions over the past few decades has not only resulted in financial benefits for the country, but more importantly saved millions of lives. For example, the under-five mortality dropped from 232 in 1990 to 55 per 1,000 live births in 2016, a remarkable decline,” he said
Schwenk further advised government to continue allocating resources in the sector saying without an adequate investment in community health systems, the work force, and infrastructure; it will be very difficult to make progress.
In complementing government efforts in the course, Red Cross Society of Malawi has also constructed 20 health Centres in various districts including Mangochi, Mwanza, Chikwawa, Mzimba, Kasungu and Ntchisi.
So far, sixteen health posts have already been handed over to government and the remaining four will be presented soon.
Speaking in an interview President of Red Cross Society of Malawi Innocent Majiya said they are also working closely with health surveillance assistants in various communities to alleviate some problems that people face when they want to access health services.
Majiya said their organization will continue supporting government in various interventions.