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Programme disburses K40m rewards in incentives

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The Ministry of Health has said paying for results when financing public service providers is the only way of ensuring quality service delivery.

Fanny Kachale, Director of Reproductive Health in the Ministry of Health, said Results- Based Financing for Maternal and Newborn Health (RBF4MNH) initiative has shown that it is possible to motivate health workers and improve quality of care by rewarding a hard working spirit.

Speaking during disbursement of rewards to winning participating districts, Kachale said Malawi did not achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Number Five which talks of reducing maternal deaths due to women who still deliver at traditional birth attendants.

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“This (RBF4MNH) programme has shown it is possible to reduce maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality rate and we are hopeful that scaling up the programme country wide in the post 2015 era would result in reduced maternal deaths,” Kachale said.

Kachale further said the initiative has become a silver bullet that has improved quality of healthcare and reduced maternal and newborn mortality in Malawi especially in the four participating districts of Dedza, Balaka, Mchinji and Ntcheu.

Reagan Kaluluma, Deputy Director for RBF4MNH said the rewards given are based on performances and overall they have been improvement in the quality of service which the health facilities are providing.

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“Increased motivation for health workers can result in improved quality service to pregnant women who will be encouraged to deliver at health institutions instead of patronizing birth attendants and so reduce maternal and newborn deaths,” Kaluluma said.

He said 70percent of the K40million given as rewards will be used for staff bonuses while 30 percent will go toward facility investment which would improve maternal and child health in the respective health facilities.

Balaka which has scooped first position for a record seventh time in a row was tied on position one together with Ntcheu district having amassed 89 percent while Mchinji came second with Dedza anchoring the list of the participating districts.

Thaliot Khwakwatu, RBF4MNH Desk Officer for Balaka said the district has been able to scoop position one since inception of the programme due to 9106 pregnant women have benefited with over K45million disbursed to the qualifying mothers as incentives to deliver at the hospital.

He said Balaka has new infrastructure such as a new theatre, high dependence unit (HDU), maternity waiting shelters apart from modern maternity equipment all realised through RBF4MNH which has helped improve quality of service and coordination amongst health workers,” Khwakwatu said.

RBF4MNH is a Malawi government programme designed to help poor people to live healthier lives by linking predetermined results to incentives and is funded by German and Royal Norwegian Governments.

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