USAID’s global Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) goal is ending preventable child and maternal deaths in a generation. USAID integrates evidence-based MNCH practices into activities in households, communities, and health facilities, and works with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to incorporate an MNCH focus into district and central level health activities.
Nutrition remains a serious health and development problem in Malawi. While stunting and underweight rates decreased markedly from 2004 to 2010 (from 53% to 47% and 17% to 14% respectively), the rates remain high and are a reflection of chronic shortages in food quantity and quality. USAID’s programs therefore focus on preventing chronic under-nutrition. As a lynchpin across various U.S. Government initiatives, nutrition programs are funded through multiple sources.
The Integrating Nutrition in Value Chains (INVC) project is designed to implement USAID’s Feed the Future (FTF) and Global Health Initiative (GHI) strategies with the aim to sustainably reduce rural poverty and improve nutritional outcomes. INVC, which is USAID/Malawi’s flagship FTF project, runs from April 2012-April 2015.
Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children under five in Malawi. There are approximately five million episodes of malaria per year. It is endemic in 95% of the country, with 98% of infections due to Plasmodium falciparum, the most severe form of the four human malarial species. The Ministry of Health (MOH) estimates that malaria accounts for 34% of all outpatient visits and 40% of all hospital admissions among children under five. Four out of ten hospital deaths are reported to be due to malaria.
Securing more sustainable financing, and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of current spending through improved health sector governance, is critical for Malawi in the coming years.
Malawi faces a range of challenges to sustainably finance and efficiently manage the delivery of high-quality health services. There is a severe shortage of adequately trained health personnel across all professional cadres, and it is difficult to train, retain, supervise, and manage existing workers within the health system. There are also critical gaps in supply chain management, infrastructure and equipment. Donors provide over 60% of all health financing in Malawi and as much as 85% of funding for public sector health care services that serve the majority of Malawians.
Last updated: October 29, 2014