17 October 2018

Malawians Are Living Dangerously, Their Lives At the Mercy of Donors

Malawi government has been asked to take up a challenge and prioritise healthcare financing for sustainability's sake as figures presented at the joint annual review of the health sector in the country show that the donors put in 62 percent of the total health sector expenditure compared to the Malawi government's estimated 25 percent input.

As part of its extended coverage, the leading daily newspaper, The Nation, has put an editorial comment of the statistic of the funding to health sector in the country

It reported that in every K100 spent in Malawi's annual health budget, donors are responsible for K62 while government puts in about K25 as revealed by Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi at the joint annual review of the health sector.

The paper in the comment titled' Malawians are living dangerously' said the lives of people in the country are at the mercy of the donors.

"It is clear that the health sector financing is not sustainable. It is at the mercy of donors who are often portrayed by the ruling elite as monsters, Ironically, when the country does better in containing conditions such as HIV and Aids, it is the governing clique that takes the credit," the paper said.

It pointed out that the health sector is the crown jewel of the nation.

"While partners-including donors, non-governmental organisations and the private sector - can complement the efforts, provision of public health services should be the responsibility of a government. Failing to do so is suicidal."

The paper said the prevailing levels of donor dependence are not sustainable.

Most of the donor fund go towards HIV and Aids, malaria, tuberculosis and immunisation, with donors such as the African Development Bank (AfDB) contributing K3.6 billion towards the procurement of essential drugs in the 2017/18 financial year alone, where the drug budget was K15 billion.

Muluzi confirmed that the health sector is largely financed by development partners but said Malawi government is committed to "progressively increase health sector financing through the fiscal budget and I would like to thank the development partners for the continued financial and technical support in the sector."

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