As members of Parliament (MPs) are currently meeting for the 2016/17 National Budget, the Health and Rights Education Programme (Hrep) has urged government to increase allocation to life-saving commodities for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health.
The organisation said an increase in funding for the commodities will help to reduce maternal deaths in Malawi which are among the highest in the world.
Hrep executive director Maziko Matemba said this is because the commodities prevent and treat many of the leading causes of death in children and women.
According to the 2010 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), maternal deaths in the country stood at 675 per 100 000.
Matemba said spot checks conducted randomly in health facilities by his organisation revealed a short supply of the commodities not commensurate with the high usage in maternal wards.
The health rights activist said increased domestic budget allocation for the 13 Life-Saving Commodities would also ensure sustainable availability.
The 13 Life-Saving Commodities include malarial drugs, medication for tuberculosis, diarrhoeal diseases, drugs for pregnant mothers and under-five children including anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs), among others. n