Nurses, doctors and other health rights bodies across the country will on Friday participate in a solidarity march to push government to improve health service delivery and put in place sustainable financing initiatives in the sector.
The main march, to be led by Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with or personally affected by HIV/AIDS (Manerela+), will take place in Lilongwe where the protesters will also present a petition to government through Parliament.
The organisers said in an interview on Wednesday that they would like government to halt the systematic sliding trends in the health sector which has resulted in collapse of service delivery.
“This peaceful march will be held to symbolize unity in our quest to press government to improve service delivery in the health sector.
“We want government to put in place sustainable action plans to end the challenges such as drug shortage, insufficient food to patients and the inaccessibility of ambulances the public health system is currently facing,” said Gift Trapence, one of the main organisers and also executive director for Centre for Development of People (Cedep).
According to Trapence, the petition will be presented through the chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Health Juliana Lunguzi.
On her part, executive director of the National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (Nonm) Harriet Kapyepye said they are mobilizing all nurses, doctors, patients’ guardians and other health rights advocates to participate in the solidarity march.
Said Kapyepye: “We are involving all those in districts to participate in the march and also deliver the same petition because DHOs [district health offices] are also heavily burdened by these challenges. We want the country to have a clear roadmap of sustainable health financing not the current irregular way of funding.”
The protest march is scheduled to start from Petroda Service Station near Kamuzu Central Hospital roundabout through Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary to Parliament Building.
Besides Manerela, Nonm and Cedep other organisers include Medical Doctors Union of Malawi (MDUM), Malawi Health Equity Network Mhen), Paramedics and Allied Health Workers, Radiographers Association and Patients Welfare Association of Malawi (Pawem).