Wemos, November 2018. “With great pleasure we hereby share the country report on funding for health workers in Malawi, by Wemos and AMAMI (Association of Malawian Midwifes): “Mind the funding gap: who is paying the health workers?” You can find the report on the Wemos knowledge platform at www.wemosresources.org.

In this report, we compare some of the international recommendations made on health financing and human resources for health – in the context of UHC and the SDGs – with the country situation, and call attention to the large gaps between these two.

The report is based on a review of policy documents from the Government of Malawi, development partners and multilateral organizations and on valuable feedback received in meetings with various stakeholders in Malawi. It offers an analysis and key information on funding for health workers that will be discussed in stakeholder meetings, with the aim to strengthen the capacity of, and space for, civil society to advocate for stronger health systems for sexual and reproductive health as part of the broader agenda on Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

In Malawi, the ratio of skilled health workers to population is only 0.5 per 1,000, while the World Health Organization calculated that 4.45 per 1,000 are needed to realize the SDGs. Insufficient funding has been identified as the main bottleneck for expanding the health workforce. Our report emphasizes that Malawi cannot mobilize sufficient domestic resources, even with further prioritization and efficiency gains, to come close to internationally agreed recommendations on health spending. Development assistance for health remains crucial to fill the gap and we call on development partners to scale up and improve funding for health workers, including salaries.

In our recommendations we call on Government, development partners and civil society to contribute to:

  • a substantial increase in public resources for health;
  •  optimal use of existing and new resources in the health sector;
  • a conducive macroeconomic environment prioritizing equity and public investment in health.

We thank the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Health Systems Advocacy Partnership, and IDA Charity Foundation for financing this work.”

Source: Communication to MMI Network members by Mariska Meurs, Wemos