Malawi’s Ministry of Health Receives Medical Equipment and Supplies from the US Agency for International Development

[Left to right: Dan Namarika, Principal Secretary of Health, Virginia Palmer, US Ambassador to Malawi, and Dr Charles Mwansambo, Chief of Health Services in the Ministry of Health and Population hold an oxygen concentrator, one of many pieces of medical equipment that have now been transferred to the MOH.]Left to right: Dan Namarika, Principal Secretary of Health, Virginia Palmer, US Ambassador to Malawi, and Dr Charles Mwansambo, Chief of Health Services in the Ministry of Health and Population hold an oxygen concentrator, one of many pieces of medical equipment that have now been transferred to the MOH.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) today transferred a significant amount of essential medical equipment and supplies to Malawi’s Ministry of Health (MoH) for use in health facilities throughout the country. The goods, valued at USD 1.8 million (MWK 1.3 billion), include essential supplies for maternal and neonatal care, child health, family planning, and malaria—oxygen concentrators, vacuum extractors, infant resuscitation kits, and more.

The US Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer, commented that, “Together with Malawi’s Ministry of Health we are making critical contributions to the country’s health infrastructure while building the capacity of its leaders so that when we step out, Malawi has a much stronger and self-sufficient health system that can respond to the needs of all its people, particularly the most vulnerable among them, and this includes moms and babies.”

The US Government provided funding for the purchase of the equipment and supplies through the USAID Organized Network of Services for Everyone’s (ONSE) Health Activity. The activity is led by Management Sciences for Health, a US-based nonprofit global health organization with a long history of work in Malawi, and several partner organizations. ONSE works to reduce maternal, newborn, and child morbidity and mortality by providing support to more than 400 health facilities in 16 districts that offer essential primary health care services to more than half of Malawi’s population.

ONSE has helped strengthen the infrastructure of Kumuzu Central Hospital, a critical service delivery point for Malawi and training institution for health workers. The activity’s support includes maintaining the hospital’s elevator to improve the mobility of patients, visitors, and health workers throughout the wards. ONSE has also provided extensive rehabilitation of hospital furniture, including desks, chairs, and benches, to improve the experience of patients and health workers. 

In May 2017, ONSE conducted an assessment of 424 public and private, for-profit health facilities in the 16 supported districts. The assessment identified crucial service delivery gaps and the root causes of those gaps, including poor facility infrastructure and insufficient equipment, supplies, and commodities. ONSE collaborated with the MoH to identify needs for equipment provision, which were determined in consultation with the results of the assessment and the expressed needs of district health offices. 

“This equipment handover marks an important milestone in our work,” said Ambassador Palmer. “We have supported the Ministry of Health in its tireless efforts to improve the country’s health infrastructure, including maternal and newborn health services, child health and nutrition, family planning, hygiene, and more. We are proud of our work and remain committed, alongside our partners, to continue making life better for all Malawians.”

 

About ONSE

The Organized Network of Services for Everyone’s (ONSE) Health Activity is USAID Malawi’s flagship program for health. The five-year activity aims to reduce maternal, newborn, and child morbidity and mortality, working in 16 districts and providing support to more than 400 health facilities which provide essential primary health care services to over half of Malawi’s population.