Juliana Lunguzi
Juliana Lunguzi Malawi Congress Party (MCP) law maker for Dedza East

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)– Ever active Member of Parliament (MP) for Dedza East Constituency Juliana Lunguzi has once again asked the DPP led Government to introduce user fees in public hospitals in a bid to ease economic shortfall the sector has historically faced.

The mechanism ensures that Malawians start to provide financial contributions that will assist in easing some of the challenges the country is experiencing in the health sector.

 

User fees proposition has mostly face resistance from non-governmental organization including Oxfam Malawi which argues that locals will not be able afford to meet such commitments.

 

Karonga Hospital
Karonga Hospital Patients

MP Juliana Lunguzi, who is also Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health and Population, has always expressed sadness the way Malawians interpreted the proposal of users’ fees in public health facilities.

 

During this year’s presentation of results and awards for the Result Based Finance for Maternal and Neonatal (RBF4MNH) Cycle 14 held in Lilongwe this week, the lawmaker Malawi remains among the few countries whose citizens literary contributes totally nothing towards the health sector hence increasing the rate of problems and challenges faced.

 

She therefore warned that if this is not done, Malawian Citizens will continue to complain of poor service delivery in public hospitals including shortage of drugs and equipment.

 

“We need to start contributing to the health sector to make sure that medical personnel are working properly. In so doing, we can have enough drugs and adequate facilities in our hospitals” observes Lunguzi.

 

In his response, Minister of Health’s Principal Secretary (PS), Dan Namarika said government is working on the matter to find the best mechanisms that will help to ease several challenges the Health Sector is facing.

 

Namarika admitted that his ministry is indeed still facing so many serious challenges due to inadequate funding.

 

He therefore revealed that the government is in the process of recruiting more medical personnel as well as encouraging Malawians to hold hospital authorities accountable.

 

The PS therefore hailed RBF initiative for its tremendous contribution in serving lives of pregnant mothers and newborn babies.

 

On his part, RBF Project Director Matthews Naviiri expressed satisfaction with the progress of the initiative since its inception.

 

Naviiri revealed that they will invest about half a million dollars to purchase equipment that will be distributed to various health centres and public hospitals.

 

He therefore encouraged officials from the Ministry of Health and the entire personnel in the health sector to work hard and pledged continued financial support.

 

RBF4MNH supports the Malawi government in addressing factors contributing to high levels of maternal and newborn deaths using innovative approaches and it is locally called “Uchembere wangwiro”

 

It is a pilot program aimed at increasing the number of facility based birth and enhance the quality of care provided to women during labor and delivery. The RBF initiative currently covers four districts of Balaka, Ntcheu, Dedza and Mchinji

 

During the presentation of Cycle 14 results, health centres, public and CHAM hospitals were awarded with money as a token of appreciation for their great work totaling to MK108, 267,075.00.

 

Mchinji emerged the overall best performing district after scoring 93 percent followed by Dedza and Ntcheu who were tied at 91 percent while Balaka came fourth.

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