Monday the 27th of July was a day to celebrate in Malawi as the guest of honor, Minister of Health Dr. Jean Kalirani announced the Launch of the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP); Child Health Strategy; the Malawi Countdown to 2015 for Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival case study results; and the Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care (EmONC) Assessment Report. The launch took place at a meeting hall of the Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe and was attended by over 600 people, including high level ministry officials, UN agencies, Civil Society, Midwives and other health professionals from district facilities, including zonal and district health managers.
The overarching theme and slogan of the day was “Malawi and MDG4: Early Adopter, Early Achiever” as the news that Malawi has achieved the MDG4 target- to reduce under-5 mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. Prefacing and building up to the announcement were several speeches – by the Mayor of Lilongwe (Clir Chapondera); the head of the National Statistics Office (Mercy Kanyuka); the Chair of the Parliamentary Commission for Health (Hon. Juliana Lunguzi); the USAID Country Representative (Douglas Arbuckle); the UN/WHO Country Representative (Eugene Nyarko); and of course Fannie Kachale who also delivered the ENAP presentation. The afternoon was spent on the Child Health Strategy rollout and discussion, and a presentation on key findings from the EmONC Assessment.
According to the Countdown Case Study, Malawi has dramatically improved child survival since 1990 and estimates that in the year 2013 alone; 10,000 children were saved by malaria prevention and treatment programs; 8,300 by vaccines; 5,900 by improved nutrition; 5,000 by effective treatment of diarrhea and pneumonia; 4,500 by HIV/AIDS interventions; and that 3,500 newborn deaths were prevented by improved care provided at and around childbirth. Despite this great progress, there is still much to be done. While Malawi has seen great progress in the reduction of under 5 mortality, newborn health is lagging behind. One out of every three under 5 deaths are newborns. Every year 14,000 babies do not survive the first month of life, and there are an additional 14,600 stillbirths per year.
Recognizing this, the Ministry of Health is fully committed to mobilize the necessary resources and improve access to use of quality maternal and newborn health services in the country. To achieve this, the Malawi has launched their Every Newborn Action Plan which calls for improving quality of care around the time of birth by ensuring there is a skilled birth attendant at every birth, and investing in the care of small and sick newborns. This action plan is in support of the Every Woman Every Child movement which takes forward the United Nations Secretary-General’s updated Global Strategy for Woman’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, which will be launched in September at the United Nations General Assembly.
- Malawi Countdown Case Study Brief
- Natinoal EmONC Assessment Fact Sheet One
- National EmONC Assessment Fact Sheet Two
- Countdown to 2015 and MamaYe Factsheet on Newborns in Malawi