The Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) has asked for an increase of K61 billion in the health allocation in the proposed 2017/18 National Budget.
In the budget which the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe presented in Parliament on May 19 2017, the health sector has been allocated K129 billion, which is about 10 percent of the fiscal plan.
But in its national health budget analysis, which was presented to parliamentarians in Lilongwe on Wednesday evening, Mhen says the allocation falls short of the 15 percent of the total national budget as agreed in the Abuja Declaration.
“There is need to increase the allocation to the sector to the recommended 15 percent to push it to at least over K190 billion to take care of the bulk of health issues that have besieged the country,” Mhen executive director George Jobe said in an interview.
Mehn fears that failure to do so would affect lives of women and children most of whom rely on public health facilities.
The analysis also recommends that government deploys newly-qualified health personnel to work in rural areas where there are few workers.
“Lack of health workers is a big problem everywhere, but we feel that the rural areas are the hardest hit, hence the need for strengthening the human resource there,” Jobe said.
Parliamentary Women Caucus chairperson Jessie Kabwila said there was need to develop rural areas if they are to attract health workers.
“People don’t want to work in rural areas because there’s no electricity and other basic needs. Added to that, they should be offered better salaries,” she said. n