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Increased health funding could prevent 100,000 deaths – study

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A research by National Planning Commission (NPC) has revealed that making huge financial investment in the health sector could prevent about 100,000 deaths of women and young children by the end of 2030.

The research which was done with assistance from African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) and Copenhagen Consensus Centre shows that investing in five interventions such as breast feeding, increasing contraception use and providing multiple micronutrients could deliver K31 in social benefits for every Kwacha invested. During a panel discussion on the findings, Chief Health Officer in the Ministry of Health, Queen Dube said the big challenge has been financing hence lobbying for collaborative approach to push the financing agenda.

“We are already putting quite a lot of money in the same interventions but the resources are not enough. What we need are resources to allow us implement further these interventions. As a ministry what we are looking for is Universal Health Coverage,” she said.

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NPC Director of Knowledge and Learning Joseph Nagoli said there is need to make sure that basics in provision of health services are funded to contribute to the achievement of Malawi 2063 Agenda.

Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Health Mathews Ngwale said it is sad that 70 percent of the country’s health budget is donor funded, hence the need to find ways of getting out of the situation.

“We have started discussions as a committee to say we need to bring in health financing. We cannot depend on the budget anymore because every year it is always short,” he said.

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The research indicates that ensuring that 90 percent of hospitals and health centres have the necessary equipment, capacity, infrastructure and medicines could avoid an average of 2,500 neonates, 32,200 still births and 140 deaths of mothers per year over the course of 10 years. The researchers also recommend replacing iron and folic acid supplements with multiple micronutrients for pregnant women.

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