Malawi Taking Steps to Create NPHI

malawiOn the heels of a measles outbreak that has sickened more than 70,000 Malawians this year along with widespread malaria and one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world, Malawi is stepping up its efforts to systematically combat health threats. A multidisciplinary task force representing key stakeholders from the Malawian government, the donor community, and IANPHI is outlining the key functions of a proposed national public health institute. IANPHI’s Courtenay Dusenbury and Kathy Cahill learned more about the concept in August during a visit to the country where they discussed plans for moving forward in partnership with the Malawian government. 

The task force comprises key stakeholders in Malawi, including representatives from the Ministry of Health, National AIDS Commission, School of Medicine and Nursing, National Health Sciences Research Committee, the U.S. CDC, and departments of the Ministry of Health including planning, research, and permanent secretary. In the short term, IANPHI will help the task force and key leaders in the country develop a strategic outline for the new institute (including its functions and relationships to other government agencies); a strategic plan that includes future needs for human resources, equipment, and facilities; and a program of work that outlines specific budgetary and programmatic priorities. It is anticipated that many of these will be included in the country’s Sector-Wide Approach Program (SWAp) or funded by existing partners. 

“IANPHI’s partnership in Malawi will allow the country to develop a vision and a template for its own public health system that will ensure that the significant donor resources dedicated to the country are applied in a manner that meets mutual long-term strategic goals and provides a horizontal, systems-strengthening approach,” Dusenbury says. “With stronger disease detection and outbreak control systems and the ability to systematically plan for and ensure that government and donor resources are dedicated to the major infectious disease threats in the country, Malawi will be able to better combat disease outbreaks such as the current measles outbreak.”

For more information about Malawi, visit these links:
CIA World Fact Book
World Bank
U.S. CDC and Malawi

 “With stronger disease detection and outbreak control systems, Malawi will be able to better combat disease outbreaks such as the current measles outbreak.”
—Courtenay Dusenbury,
Director, IANPHI U.S.Secretariat