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Government urged to sustain maternal, neonatal initiative

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Development partners have asked government to devise measures that would ensure sustainability of the Results-Based Financing for Maternal and Neonatal Health (RBF4MNH) Programme.

The RBF4MNH Programme, which has been receiving financial support from Germany and Norway through the German-owned development bank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), comes to an end in May this year.

Its major objective was to support government’s reform agenda of decentralisation to ensure that health facilities are autonomous besides contributing towards efforts to tackle maternal and neonatal deaths in the country.

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The German Ambassador to Malawi, Jurgen Borsch, told journalists at the cycle 16th and 17th rewards dissemination meeting in Lilongwe last week that under the programme, Malawi has registered significant success in addressing factors contributing to high numbers of maternal and newborn deaths using innovative approaches to health financing.

Borsch said Malawi cannot afford to lose the initiative because it has proven very effective in tackling maternal and newborn deaths.

The outgoing RBF4MNH Programme Country Director, Matthew Nviiri, said the initiative has supported Malawi’s reform agenda of decentralisation to ensure that health facilities are autonomous.

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Nviiri said lessons learned from the RBF initiative demonstrated that decentralisation of financial resources enables health facilities to effectively and efficiently use the limited resources they receive from RBF leading to improved health outcomes.

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