Increase in population hindering quality health care

Lilongwe, The Ministry of Health and Population says rapid population increase in the country continues to put more strain on the health sector, resulting in poor health care.

Delivering his speech on Tuesday during the parliamentary session in Lilongwe, Minister of Health and Population, Atupele Muluzi, stated that the population continues to grow year on year yet the resources available to deliver the health care are stretched ever tight.

The health service of Malawi is under more strain today than ever. The way we care for our people becomes more effective but of course many of the new treatments or services cost so much money that so often we find we don’t have, said Muluzi.

The health minister said this meant that there is great need for government to work harder to find ways to deliver a 21st century health service that fits the needs of Malawians.

Muluzi said despite all those challenges, his Ministry has registered milestone achievements that include the reduction of mortality rates for the under five children from 112 per 1000 live births in 2013, to 63 per 1000 live births in 2015 and 2016.

Another achievement, according to the minister, is the reduction in infant mortality from 66 per 1000 live births in 2010 to 42 per 1000 live births in 2016 and the decline in maternal mortality from 675 per 100,000 population in 2010 to 439 in 2016.

Over the past month, we have reviewed the recently announced health sector which has highlighted a lot of achievements that includes reduction of mortality rates, reduction in infant mortality and decline in maternal mortality, he said.

In his statement, he also indicated that with the support of development partners, the prevalence rate of HIV and AIDS has dropped to 8.8 per cent in 2016 from 15.3 per cent in 1999.

Malawi has recorded significant progress towards the UNAIDS 90/90/90 target. However, Muluzi said a lot needs to be done to get over the last mile which is so often the hardest part of the journey.

According to statistics in his statement, Malawi has now managed tuberculosis such that the prevalence rate has decreased from 334 per 100,000 population to 159 per 100,000.

The Minister also indicated that the death rate from the disease has been reduced from 38 per cent in 2014 to 24 per cent in 2016.

He said government has committed itself to providing universal health care to all Malawians by introducing an insurance scheme and be able to meet the medical needs of people.

Based on the latest United Nations estimates, Malawi’s population is at 18,841,922, and continues to exert pressure on the country’s limited resources.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA