A strong, well-functioning and sustainable health system – capable of efficiently delivering and managing health care services – is vital to improving the health status of Kenyans. Health systems in Kenya are constrained by insufficient financial resources, a shortage and poor distribution of healthcare workers, weaknesses in legislation and information systems and a lack of management and other technical expertise. Accessing quality health services is especially difficult for women and youth.
Kenya has made incredible progress in reducing child deaths, with a 30 percent decline in child and infant mortality recorded between the last two Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 2003 and 2008. Improvements in antenatal care, vaccinations, and malaria control have helped to drive these trends. At the same time, mothers and babies still face high risks during and around childbirth. The leading killers of children (pneumonia, diarrhea, AIDS, and malaria) are preventable and treatable, but the needed interventions often do not reach the poorest and most vulnerable.
USAID invests in population and health programs to improve the survival, well-being and productivity of the Kenyan population—especially for poor, marginalized and underserved communities. USAID partners with the Government of Kenya at the national and county levels to reduce the burden of major infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, and address the main causes of maternal and child deaths.
The U.S. Agency for international Development (USAID) works closely with Malawi’s Ministry of Health to strengthen the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector. Continuing this vital partnership, USAID remains committed to working with the Ministry, development partners and civil society to improve access to and provision of quality WASH services.
The Wellness and Agriculture for Life Advancement (WALA) program is a Title II USAID Food For Peace funded five-year $80.7 million integrated food security program. The program started in July 2009 and will end in June 2014. This initiative aims to reduce food insecurity of 215,000 vulnerable households in 39 traditional authorities in eight most food insecure districts in Southern Malawi.
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major public health problem in Malawi. In 2011, 20,000 new and relapse cases and 1,900 deaths were reported in Malawi. It is estimated that only 66% of TB cases are diagnosed. Sixty-three percent of people with TB are also HIV positive. The number of TB cases in Malawi increased steadily from 1995 until 2003, when it reached its peak (28,000 cases) and thereafter there has been a downward trend to approximately 20,000 cases notified in 2011.
USAID is supporting the Government of Malawi (GoM) to increase the country’s capacity to undertake and sustain uninterrupted supply of life- saving health commodities to the various points of use - at health care facilities up to the community level, through direct procurement of reproductive health and anti-malaria commodities, secured storage and monthly distribution of essential medicines, malarial commodities and family planning commodities to over 600 healthcare facilities.
Malaria remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Malawi with approximately six million episodes of malaria per year. It is endemic in 95% of the country, with 98% of infections due to Plasmodium falciparum. The Ministry of Health 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.
USAID, along with other development partners engages the Government of Malawi (GOM) on the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) and 1,000 days movements. USAID is a member of various technical working groups on nutrition, and is a key and founding member of the Donor Nutrition Coordination Group (DoNuts). One key outcome of this engagement and coordination with other donors is that there is minimal duplication of effort.
USAID continues to be a key partner of the Government of Malawi (GOM) in supporting efforts to improve maternal health outcomes. USAID is focusing on integrated support for strengthening the health system at community, facility, district, zonal, and central levels to deliver better services, and focus resources on evidence-based practices for improving maternal outcomes.
Last updated: July 12, 2014