Presently, most progressive organisations are increasingly realizing the value of collaboration and looking for ways to foster it. Collaboration is one of the biggest factors that contribute to the achievement of a common goal as it allows sharing of different skills and perspectives to provide most optimal solutions. Because two heads are better than one, teams work better together and plug each other’s gaps.
In the light of this, Maikhanda Trust recently coordinated a one day workshop at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe which aimed at discussing the priority areas Malawi wants to achieve in the next five years under the 3 key areas namely; the implementation of the SDGs and Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition(RMNCAH+N), Domestication of the SDGs and advancement of the post 2015 RMNCAH+N agenda as well as the RMNCAH continuum of care per the guidance provided by the global strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health.
This came at a time when Maikhanda together with Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) and Civil Society Organisations Nutrition Alliance (CSONA) are implementing a Graca Machel Trust project aimed at improving RMNCAH+N in Malawi with a specific focus on issues of Health Financing, Health Infrastructure, Social Accountability and Nutrition.
In his presentation during the workshop, Maikhanda Trust’s Executive Director Mr. Eric Tsetekani said the success of the SDGs depends squarely upon the national governments taking ownership of this development agenda and that Civil society organizations (CSOs) and other development partners have a key role to play in ensuring that this country level process is given due priority and that the SDGs are implemented in a timely manner.
“The global community endorsed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015 to build on the previous successes of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).These SDGs are geared towards encouraging Member States of the United Nations to mobilize their resources and expertise to end poverty and inequality and tackle climate change. Therefore there is need for strengthened political will for the domestication of the SDGs and the post-2015 RMNCAH+N agenda,” he said.
Reporting on the status of financing in Malawi, CHAI’s Health Financing Manager, Michelle Ferng said financing is currently insufficient for both RMNCAH+N and for the broader health system therefore as a country we have to coordinate donor investments to address priority service delivery gaps and also identify and prioritize the optimal combination of interventions and systems strengthening.
“The health system underlying RMNCAH+N services is chronically underfunded leading to gaps in service availability, quality and efficiency. However, Malawi can get more money for RMNCAH+N as long as we provide good data and a strong investment case showing what prioritized interventions and activities require additional investments areas,” said Michelle.The GMT has been working to help increase political and financial commitment by key public and private sector leaders to deliver on the SDGs and the post-2015 RMNCAH and nutrition agenda.
In Malawi, The project has narrowed down activities to three themes namely; build and expand better infrastructure for RMNCAH and nutrition service delivery, Increase financing for health with a focus on higher domestic resources for RMNCAH and nutrition and strengthen social accountability mechanisms to track progress made on achieving the SDGs and the post-2015 RMNCAH and nutrition targets.
The workshop was attended by officials from Ministry of Health, UNICEF, UNFPA, Reproductive Health Directorate, MHEN, CHAI, CSONA,GMT champion and Youth advocates who all made presentations on the bottlenecks and priority areas that need to be tackled going forward in the areas of nutrition, health financing, social accountability and health infrastructure.