Health and Rights Education Program (HREP), says allocation of inadequate funds to the Ministry of Health is contributing to an increase in Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) related deaths in the country.
This is according to HREP Executive Director Maziko Matemba who was speaking in Blantyre on Wednesday when he met members of Blantyre Press Club at the launch of a media awards programme on RMNCH + Nutrition in Malawi.
Matemba said it is very worrisome that up to now the ministry of health continues to receive inadequate funds for its operations which he said will see the health sector continue struggling.
He further indicated that due to the insufficient funds the ministry gets in national budget, Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and the Reproductive Maternal sectors, continue to suffer which he said is putting women and girls in the country at risk of reproductive related deaths.
The Executive Director added that looking at the country’s health strategic plan three which was launched by the ministry in January, issues of reproductive maternal new-born are still skyrocketing and added that the country need to invest more in those areas.
“Have you seen that our investment even the total health budget, if you go, go to SRH, Reproductive Maternal Health, is least supported, it is 0.18% of the total health budget and looking at the overall national budget you will find that it is very small.
“But also if you look at the Malawi 2063 agenda, which all of us need to support, you can find out that, our investments in family planning even though it has been pronounced in that document, but it is not largely funded by our domestic resources.
“You can see now our GDP we are at 2% to the required 5%. So we have a lot of work to be done together, and media when you write stories, policy makers listen more especially when the stories are comprehensive enough,” said Matemba.
Matemba, said it is also threatening that out of the required 12.7 billion kwacha for the project, government has managed to provide only 600 million kwacha in the 2023/2024 national budget.