Malawi Health Equity Network holds a round table discussion

Lilongwe: Malawi Health Equity Network (MEHN) organized a round table discussion with different stakeholders at Golden Peacock on Tuesday in Lilongwe to review on how effective Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) project has been in reducing maternal and infants’ deaths in selected five districts of Malawi.

MEHN is an independent alliance of organizations and individuals promoting equity and quality health for all people in Malawi.

The project has been in Malawi since 2016 with funding from United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). It is still in the first stage, hence operational in five districts Dowa, Dedza, Nkhata Bay, Machinga and Zomba.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency, Kestins Chilopa who is MEHN board member said in partnership with Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO) and Parent and Child Health Initiative (PACHI) they are satisfied with the work on the ground.

We are happy with how the first phase of the project has been conducted, one of our major successes is a local program called Bwalo in which community members meet to discuss and provide solutions to health issues in their community, said Chilopa.

He further said Bwalo forums have proved to be a success in addressing local health problems at community level, national and district level, it is acting like a bridge between the community and government.

After reviewing the 2017-2018 budget, we discovered that there was a shortfall in the allocation for health which was reduced from 15 per cent to 9.5 per cent, we arranged a meeting with the ministries of Health and Finance and other stakeholders involved.

The meeting was fruitful because there was an increase of MK1 billion. This time around we have already met with the Ministry of Finance to take into consideration factors like inflation and increase in population as they will be making the budget, said Chilopa.

Rose Kamela from Youth Net and Counseling said they have seen an impact in Machinga District where most men were reluctant to attend antenatal classes.

Through our local meetings and pa ‘Bwalo’ there is an increase in the number of men who are escorting their spouses to the hospital, we have also established radio listening clubs which help us to source stories at a local level, said Kamela.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA

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