By Wezzie Gausi:
Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has admitted that there is a long way to go for the country to meet terms of the Abuja Declaration on health sector financing.
In 2001, African Union member states signed the Abuja Declaration, pledging to allocate at least 15 percent of their national budgets each year to improve healthcare systems.
Speaking at an annual health sector joint review meeting in Lilongwe Tuesday, Kandodo Chiponda said, in 2022, the government managed to contribute 11 percent to the health sector budget.
She said the ministry is willing to reach the 15 percent but faces various challenges.
“We will keep on negotiating with the Treasury so as to increase the country’s contribution to the health sector. However, we must be aware that the government has to look for many other ministries in terms of funding.
“But we are hopeful that, with time, we will be able to contribute more to the health budget in the country,” Kandodo Chiponda said.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative Neema Kimambo emphasised the need to reach the 15 percent contribution.
She said while the donor community will continue helping Malawi, it is necessary for the country to contribute the 15 percent.
“Well, we understand that the nation is going through a series of crises, including the cholera outbreak. But our stand, as the donor community, remains that countries must reach 15 percent when it comes to health financing,” Kimambo said.
Malawi Health Equity Network Executive Director George Jobe said Malawi needs to devise plans on how to finance the health sector.
He cited the collection of levies from toll gates on the ground that people involved in road accidents seek medical help.