- Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) has asked government to channel the proceeds from the just achieved debt cancellation to the health sector to achieve the Abuja declaration, which states that government should spend 15% of the national budget to the health sector in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In a press statement dated September 4, 2006 signed by the MHEN board Chairperson, John Kapito, MHEN calls upon government to use the proceeds to boost the health sector saying respect to people’s rights to health is a fundamental human right.
“MHEN in its effort to promote equity and quality in health for all people in Malawi would like to urge Malawi government to use the proceeds from debt cancellation for the improvement of health sector.
We believe that respect to people’s rights to health is a fundamental human right. We also believe in universal accesses to comprehensive essential care services offered on the premise of equity, social justice and rights,” reads the statement in part, adding that Malawi is far from achieving the goes stated above.
The statement further observes that by increasing the allocation to health sector, the Malawi government would achieve the Abuja declaration, thereby qualifying for MDGs, which call for reduction in child mortality; improvement of maternal; combating HIV and AIDS, malaria, TB and other diseases.
While commending the Malawi government for implementing sound fiscal policies that have attracted the debt cancellation under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), MHEN further urges government to relentlessly fight against abuse in drug management in public hospital among other things.
“…We also urge government to create a conducive environment that will motivate and return health workers,” reads the statement, adding, “We would also like to call for a proper procurement procedure for drugs and medical equipment in private health institutions to ensure effective and efficient health service delivery in Malawi.”
On Friday, September 2006, multilateral lending institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank scraped off Malawi’s US$2.9billion (approximately K406billion), which totals to 90percent of the official foreign debt. The relief now drops the debt to US$400million (approximately K56million).
The development will see the Malawi government have available total some of US$100million every year, which can be used for Malawi’s development endeavours.
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