Malawi: MP Ngwale Warns Govt Against "Shelving" Health Sector Improvement Recommendations

24 September 2021

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Dr. Matthews Ngwale, has warned officials at the Capital Hill against 'shelving' recommendations stakeholders made at the three-day 2020/21 Joint Health Sector Annual Review meeting in Lilongwe.

The review meeting has ended today with stakeholders making a number of recommendations in order to improve service delivery in the health sector.

Speaking at the close of the meeting, Ngwale expressed concern over the tendency by civil servants at the seat of government to disregard or ignore recommendations from such forums.

"In this country, we are good at developing impressive plans, but we are also good at shelving the documents. It's my hope this time that what we have discussed today regarding self-reliance will be put to action. It's my hope that as we are going home, the Ministry of Finance will be able to allocate the needed resources.

"It's my hope that the Ministry of Health and Population will implement what we have discussed and agreed during this three-day annual review meeting," he said.

Ngwale, who is Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker for Chiradzulu West, also reiterated his committee's availability to provide technical support to all government departments, ministries and agencies involved in the delivery of healthcare services in Malawi.

"I would like to urge you to take advantage of the Parliamentary Committee on Health to advance the needs and requirements in the health sector. It's always at your service," he said.

In her remarks, Co-chairperson for the Health Donors Group, Lindsay Kim, asked the Malawi Government to improve management of resources at all levels and to ensure that fiscal accountability and oversight structures are working properly.

Kim said improved domestic resource management will allow better aid allocation and reduction of short term projectized aid and fragmentation.

"Strategic leadership and trust is critical to allow reformed health financing. We also welcome the focus on health financing, efficiency and accountability in the guiding principles for the development of the Health Sector Strategic Plan III, but we are also keen to see how this translates into trackable indicators and into concrete actions and activitiy," she said, adding that the donor community will stand with the Malawi Government to support these efforts.

Director of Quality Management Services in the Ministry of Health and Population, Martias Joshua, assured the stakeholders that the ministry will implement all the recommendations made at the conference.

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