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Health Ministry urged to adopt Japanese model

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Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has challenged people in her ministry to utilise scarce resources by adopting a Japanese model called 5S-Kaizen.

5S stands for Sort, Set, Shine, Standardise and Sustain and is aimed at improving the physical working environment. The model was brought to Malawi by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica).

The 5S-Kaizen is built on a 5S framework to eliminate wastage and adhere to standardisation in workplaces.

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Speaking on Tuesday when she opened a seminar on 5S-Kaizen in Lilongwe, she urged health personnel to take care of the little resources available.

“These tools are teaching people to use whatever they have to make the environment conducive for them and also improve on the issue of safety for service providers, notably nurses and patients.

“Sometimes, it is not about how much you have to improve efficiency but what you do with what you have,” she said.

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Kandodo Chiponda acknowledged Jica’s efforts in complementing Government of Malawi-run initiatives.

Japanese Ambassador to Malawi Satoshi Iwakiri pledged his government’s continued assistance to Malawi.

“Since Malawi experiences a serious lack of resources in the health sector, the issue of quality is inevitable in the quest to provide adequate resources to people. This is the time for you to take action and make a change to the country’s health systems. We have many challenges but I know we can do it,” Satoshi said.

The ambassador encouraged the ministry to adopt the 5S Kaizen approach.

There are four 5S-Kaizen benchmarking hospitals in Malawi and these are Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Malamulo Mission Hospital, Mzimba South District Hospital and Mzuzu Central Hospital.

Jica Malawi Chief Representative Kazuhiro Tambara said his organisation has been assisting Malawi with capacity building on 5S-Kaizen, which was introduced to the country in 2007.

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