Representatives of the Health Donors Group have said Malawi’s maternal and new-borns (neonatal aged between zero and 28 days) mortality rates remain among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.
The development partners observe that the situation stands like that despite combined efforts by government and its partners to arrest it.
Health Donors Group chairperson Johannes Wedenig said this in Lilongwe yesterday during the launch of the Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP) II and National Community Health Strategy (NCHS).
He acknowledged the strides Malawi has made in achieving four out of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Said Wedenig: “There has been significant progress in reducing child mortality and combating HIV and Aids, malaria and other diseases. Under HSSP I, targets for under-five mortality and infant mortality were surpassed and HIV prevalence among adults declined substantially. However, Malawi’s maternal and neonatal mortality rates are among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.”
He commended Malawi for developing the two strategic plans, which he observed will play a critical role in sealing the gaps existing in the health sector and ensuring that Malawians are attaining the highest possible level of health and quality of life.
In her presentation during the launch, Ministry of Health (MoH) director of planning and policy development Emma Mabvumbe said under-five mortality in Malawi dropped from 78 per 1 000 live births to 63 per 1 000 whereas infant mortality rate is at 42 per 1 000 against a target of 45 per 1 000.
On the other hand, she said maternal mortality rate is estimated at 439 per 100 000 live births as per 2010 statistics whereas neonatal mortality stood at 27 per 100 000 live births.