The Health Sector Joint Fund (HSJF) has stopped financing the purchase of blood and blood products from Malawi Blood Transfusion Service (MBTS) for the country’s central hospitals.
A letter to all central hospital directors dated October 1 signed by Ministry of Health (MoH) Principal Secretary Dan Namarika states that central hospitals will now have to make the blood purchases using government resources.
Reads the letter in part: “I wish to formally inform you that the donors have decided to stop financing the purchase of blood and blood products for central hospitals.
“I, therefore, request that from the current financial year onwards, these payments be made from the government provisions.”
But in a written response yesterday, Ministry of Health (MoH) spokesperson Joshua Malango said the development will not affect blood supply.
He said: “Traditionally, blood products were on the drug budget provided by Treasury and the hospitals will simply go back there.”
Malango said the HSJF has been supporting implementation of the Health Sector Strategic Plan II (2017-2022) with a primary focus on infrastructure; hence, the exit is normal.
Malango was, however, mum on how much central government will need to take up the drive.
In 2016, K12.9 billion was made available through the HSJF, whose main donors are the Royal Norwegian Embassy together with the Department for International Development and German state-owned development bank KfW.
MBTS spokesperson Allen Kaombe said in an interview central hospitals previously shared costs for blood purchase with development partners under the HSJF as part of a cost recovery system that was put in place to sustain its operations since it became a Trust in 2007.
But unlike central hospitals, district and mission hospitals have always been receiving support from Treasury through MoH.