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Public Health in Malawi

Public Health & Tropical Medicine

Public Health in Malawi

The limited and inadequate resources of MalawiHealthcare systemcannot fully address factors plaguing the population like maternal and infant mortality; hygiene and sanitation; high burden of diseases of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The focus rather than being diverted on preventative medicine still remains fixed on improving economy and human rights. Thus, the mission of Department ofPublic Healthis to improve healthbenefits and efforts towards Malawipopulation through quality publichealth services, educational programs, policy-making, researchand development.

Public Health Policies in Malawi

Current overall policy of Malawis Ministry of Health is a Public Healthinitiative that focuses on developmentof a sound healthcare delivery system capable of preventing and reducing diseases, promoting health and protecting life. Due to multiple conflicting priorities associated with communication, financing and research sectors found responsible for Malawis struggle to attain these public health goals. Malawis Public AffairsCommitteeand Unicameral National Assembly are both champion Public Health causes.
Though, Malawis Ministry of Health has been making attempts to understand and improve public health from the Policy level, most of the improvements come fromgrassrootsefforts, funding and supervision from NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations). The Malawi population rely on the wisdom of Community Health Workers. Malawis Public Health Services of National Hospitals are geographically isolated to some areas. The available private healthcare and insurance isgrowing at an exponential rate, though limited to certain range of medical treatments.

Public Health Services in Malawi

The public health in Malawi has attracted attention and subjected to increasing commitment from the Government. The Health Services delivery system organised by the Government in collaboration with Ministry of health of the country addresses the needs of treatment and healthcare of patients. The delivery of nationalhealthcareservice is funded by government ofMalawiwhich is freeto all Malawians. The three forms of Governmenthealthcareare available at local level by Health Centres, Rural/Regional Hospitals one level up and District Hospitals at the highest level. The budget allocation for control and prevention of diseases continues to increase over the coming years.
At Community level, Health Workers also called Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) that play an important role in bridging gaps between the community and the Ministry of Health. The workers conductimmunizations, community basedhealth education services and mosquito net distribution among other activities. Health Centre level in the communities have health centres built for treatment of minor illnesses including uncomplicated obstetric cases of deliveries. The medical assistants, doctors and nurses are health workers at health centre. All complicated cases are referred to the District Hospital and Central Hospital manned by paramedics, doctors and nurses. These health facilities have Specialists to deal with patients with complicated illness, which may be referred from District to Central Hospitals.
Malawi Government is desirous to have the highest level of healthcare system and quality of life for its citizens. The key priority lies in combined efforts of the Government, individuals, communities, organizations and other cooperating partners to improving the health of the nation.

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