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KfW, pledges continued support

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Southern Africa Director of the German-owned development bank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), Thomas Duve, is in the country to appreciate some of the social and economic interventions being implemented with financial resources from the bank.

On Tuesday, Duve visited Mtendere Community Hospital in Dedza. Mtendere is one of the 33 government and Christian Health Association of Malawi (Cham) – affiliated health facilities that are benefitting from the KfW-funded Results-Based Financing for Maternal and Newborn Health Programme (RBF4MNH) Programme.

Speaking after touring the facility, the director pledged continued support to various areas in Malawi.

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“KfW is implementing a lot of programmes within the health sector, but also the other sectors such as education, social services and very recently also national participation in other crucial programmes aimed to improve the socio-economic livelihoods of Malawians.

“We have a big programme of projects. So, Malawi Government should expect that KfW will always be a critical partner with government,” said Duve.

He said the bank would discuss with government on how to best implement projects, emphasising that where the projects are doing well, KfW will do everything to mobilise more funding from the German Government or other funding partners.

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“A few things are very good; a few things are not so good. And during the recent years, we saw a lot of advances in Malawi, especially in the education sector, in the health and what we’re also impressed with is what has happened in the social security. But there is always room for improvement.”

He expressed satisfaction with the returns the RBF4MNH initiative has registered in addressing factors contributing to high numbers of maternal and newborn deaths using innovative approaches to health financing.

RBF4MNH Programme Country Director, Matthew Nviiri, said his initiative is supporting the Malawi Government reform agenda of decentralisation to ensure that health facilities are autonomous.

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

“Under RBF, heath facilities decide on their investment plans using a business plan. We have seen health facilities provide medical equipment and build infrastructure including staff houses at half the cost. The lessons learned from RBF will enable all government ministries to increase return on investment and offer value for money to our development partners,” he explained.

Mtendere Community Hospital Administrator, Sister Agnes Jonas, concurred with Nviiri, saying the initiative has helped to increase the number of women seeking antenatal care at the hospital from early weeks of pregnancy, thereby reducing the rate of complications during perinatal period.

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