‘What Women Want: Malawi’ Documentary Garners International Attention
October 2020 —
HP+ partner the White Ribbon Alliance launched a documentary highlighting women’s and girls’ challenges in accessing reproductive and maternal health services through the lens of the What Women Want campaign, which mobilized over 84,000 women and girls in Malawi to voice their requests for high-quality reproductive and maternal health services and outcomes. The documentary has had a wide reach thus far, including a snippet being viewed as part of the September 2020 Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Accountability Breakfast opening video during the UN General Assembly. The documentary will continue to serve as an advocacy tool to advance efforts to meet women’s and girls’ health needs in Malawi.
Mentoring and Supporting Youth Clubs in Malawi Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
October 2020 —
In Malawi, youth clubs are thriving, enabling young people to continue to access youth-friendly health services (YFHS) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 45 youth clubs in Mangochi, trained by HP+ and the USAID AgDiv Project in June 2019 on enterprise and entrepreneurship, have been mentored by an HP+-trained multisectoral ministry team and youth champion during the pandemic. They have invested approximately MWK 459,000 (US$611) in their respective centers, supporting the provision of YFHS and information on COVID-19 to youth throughout the region.
Youth Clubs in Nankumba, Malawi Join Forces to Construct a Youth-Friendly Health Services Corner
September 2020 —
In Malawi’s Mangochi district, youth clubs are supporting the construction of a standalone building to house youth-friendly health services at Nankumba Health Center. Following a training on small-scale businesses conducted by HP+ and Ag Div in June 2019 and subsequent months of advocacy efforts, the youth clubs secured financial support from the community amounting to MWK 400,000 (approximately US$540) as well as commitments from local leaders to support the initiative. By building this separate facility—expected to serve up to 50 individuals by the end of 2021—the youth aim to provide a safe, private space for their local peers to access health services.
World Contraceptive Day – Positive Message of Hope
September 2020 —
Health Policy Plus (HP+) marked World Contraception Day this year with a focus on the positive, a welcome distraction from the COVID-19 pandemic, by asking our colleagues and partners, “what about contraception puts a smile on your face?” With a reflection by family planning and reproductive health lead, Jay Gribble, and a photo collage featuring messages from around the world, HP+ demonstrates many reasons to smile as voluntary contraception and method choice continue to improves the lives of women and men, their families, and communities.
New Blog: A Multisectoral Approach to End Malnutrition
September 2020 —
HP+ explores links between food insecurity, poverty, and poor health outcomes and the need to address underlying causes such as malnutrition with a multisectoral approach. In a new blog in its series, A Multisectoral Endeavor Called Health, co-authors Jay Gribble and Joni Waldron of USAID’s Feed the Future Ag Diversification Activity showcase efforts in Malawi where project design and implementation are linking agriculture to food security, economic growth, and health for long-term, sustainable change. Read the blog, “Reducing Malnutrition: A Multisectoral Approach to Addressing Underlying Causes.
Religious Leaders in Malawi Commit to Spreading Message of Antiretroviral Treatment Adherence
August 2020 —
In Malawi’s Chikwawa district, faith healers have been discouraging community members living with HIV from taking antiretroviral therapy (ART). Concerned that this may lead to ART defaults and increased death, religious mother body PECHANOMA facilitated a dialogue with other leaders in July, with HP+ support, to reinforce their role in emphasizing accurate messaging around HIV and COVID-19 and the importance of continuity in ART for people living with HIV. The leaders committed to continue disseminating accurate HIV messaging in their communities by holding meetings with religious and local leaders, disseminating radio and TV messages, and using mobile vans with loudspeaker systems.
Youth Journalists Prompt Increase in HIV Testing via Community Radio Program
July 2020 —
With HP+ support, youth journalists in several districts in Malawi air weekly programs on community radio about topical health issues. Recently, Nkhotakota Radio youth reporters noticed that the number of pregnant adolescent girls getting HIV tests at the local district hospital had dropped significantly. In early June, the station aired a radio program urging pregnant teens to get tested for HIV. The District Health Office reported that in the two weeks following the broadcast, testing was higher than ever—about 40 pregnant girls had visited the facility to be tested. Said Nkhotakota District Hospital Nurse Chimwemwe Nyasulu, “This is what community radio is supposed to do.”
Strengthening Youth-Friendly Health Services Reporting at the District Level in Malawi
July 2020 —
HP+ is supporting district-level youth-friendly health services (YFHS) reporting performance in Malawi by analyzing monthly District Health Information System 2 reports and providing technical support to health management information system officers and YFHS coordinators to improve timely and complete reporting. The district with the highest performance each quarter receives recognition; districts share best practices and lessons learned via a WhatsApp group. As a result of this emphasis on data quality and reporting, performance has steadily improved over time. Accurate and timely information about service utilization allows decision-makers at various levels to tailor programs and allocate resources to more effectively serve youth beneficiaries across Malawi.
HP+ Support Leads to Significant Improvements in Reporting Performance of Youth-Friendly Health Services in Malawi
June 2020 —
In Malawi, district youth-friendly health services (YFHS) coordinators are using performance data to analyze YFHS uptake nationwide, sharing best practices and challenges encountered to improve program decision-making across all levels of the health system. Since 2018, HP+ has supported the Ministry of Health’s Central Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate to analyze district performance in reporting YFHS uptake and share these results with district-level coordinators via WhatsApp. As a result, the overall national reporting performance of the YFHS program has improved from 13 percent in 2018 to 72 percent as of March 2020, demonstrating strengthened capacity to submit complete, timely data critical to supporting informed decision-making.
Mentoring Youth for Effective Advocacy in Malawi
June 2020 —
A new blog by HP+’s Laura Brazee—Opening Doors: Mentoring for Effective Advocacy—was published by Knowledge SUCCESS. The blog shares insights from an intergenerational mentoring program for youth in Malawi. It demonstrates how engagement with mentors supports emerging young leaders to engage village, district, and national stakeholders to deliver on promises related to youth-friendly health services (YFHS) and strengthens advocacy for policies to end early marriage. Mentees were supported to build partnerships with youth networks and organizations to advance their advocacy work and connect to new stakeholders. View more Malawi-specific materials.
Coordinating Faith Communities, Clinical Partners, and Government to Disseminate HIV Messages in Malawi
June 2020 —
HP+ is strengthening relationships between communities of faith, health facilities, and district governments in Malawi to support the country’s HIV response. The project is supporting six Religious Mother Bodies (RMBs) to implement PEPFAR’s Faith and Community Initiative, which aims to rapidly increase the proportion of men and boys living with HIV to access testing and treatment. The RMBs and PEPFAR clinical partners are working together to establish how faith leaders and health facilities can coordinate to increase male access to services, including coordinating with eight district governments to establish working relationships and obtain buy-in and guidance on geographic targeting for their activities.
Malawi Youth Advocates Establish SRHR Network at University of Livingstonia
April 2020 —
In March, following an HP+ policy advocacy training and ongoing mentorship, two student youth advocates at Malawi’s University of Livingstonia established a Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) club on campus to provide information and referrals for students seeking to access contraceptives, counseling, HIV testing, and information on SRHR. The advocates are now seeking to establish a youth-friendly health services space at the university where students can access information, services, and referrals to the closest hospital and mobile clinic. There are currently 700 students attending Livingstonia University and 64 have expressed interest in joining the SRHR network.
Malawi Youth Trained by HP+ Successfully Advocate for Policy Changes at the District Level
April 2020 —
In Malawi, youth trained in policy communication have successfully advocated for policy changes at the district level. The training, facilitated by HP+ in coordination with partner Population Reference Bureau (PRB) in July 2019, resulted in the creation of policy advocacy plans by youth advocates. Recent follow-up by PRB revealed multiple successes in the implementation of these plans, including implementation of a differentiated care model for antiretroviral therapy service delivery, expanded clinic hours to target youth, and inclusion of youth leaders in local decision-making committees and district structures. These policy changes improve youth access to health services and family planning information, contributing to improved health outcomes across Malawi.
Malawi Youth Clubs Grow Businesses and Increase Access to Youth-Friendly Health Services
March 2020 — In Malawi, youth clubs have been successful in generating resources and investing in youth-friendly health services (YFHS) in their communities as a result of sustained HP+ efforts. Following HP+-supported trainings on grassroots implementation of the YFHS Strategy and entrepreneurship, the Mlambe Youth Club in Nankumba began growing green maize to support refurbishment of YFHS facilities. Their US$1,000 profit was invested in expanding the business to rear goats and enhance irrigation efficiency by purchasing a treadle pump. To enable members to access YFHS health services at Nankumba health center, the club recently purchased two bicycles.
Cervical Cancer Guidelines and Data Collection Tools Strengthen Evidence Base for Decision Making in Malawi
March 2020 —
In Malawi, cervical cancer data management and program monitoring systems are generating crucial data to be used in decision making at national and district levels. With technical support from HP+, the Ministry of Health and Population’s Cervical Cancer Task Force developed quality assurance standard operating procedures, guidelines, and data tools, and trained health workers on how to screen for and treat cervical cancer. The tools have been integrated into the country’s health information system to support evidence-based decision making. Over 180 health facilities have received screening and treatment equipment, and linkages and referrals for specialized treatment and care have been strengthened as a result.
Malawi’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Approach Yields Promising Results
March 2020 —
Early results from districts in Malawi where hospitals have been accredited as baby-friendly (BFHI) have revealed great success: on average, in the nine hospitals HP+ has trained, early initiation of breastfeeding increased from 43 to 75 percent. In Dedza, exclusive breastfeeding contributed to a reduction in neonatal deaths from 24 to 13 percent over six months. Learning from prior experience, HP+ adapted the BFHI program to train hospitals sequentially. The revised approach provides immediate feedback and ongoing mentorship and ensures that at least 80 percent of clinical staff are trained in each facility, as well as support staff and community mentors.
HP+ Partners with Chartered Institute of Malawi to introduce Positive Youth Development Award
January 2020 —
FDH Bank of Malawi was awarded the first-ever Positive Youth Development Award at the annual Marketing Excellence Awards by Malawi’s only association of professional marketers. The award, recognizing the bank for excellence in developmental and social services targeting young people ages 10-35, was recently introduced as a new award by Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM Malawi). The award aims at mobilizing the private sector to support implementation of the country’s National Youth Friendly Health Services Strategy in order to improve youth empowerment and access to health services through strengthened public-private partnerships. At the awarding ceremony, private sector attendees expressed enthusiasm about the introduction of the youth award category, which is expected to stimulate the private sector to invest more in youth related interventions as the companies compete to win in coming years. This all comes as a result of HP+ support to the Ministry of Health to prioritize and promote youth friendly health services.
Read more from local news coverage
Malawi’s National Condom Policy Implementation Reaches Districts through Condom Coordination Committees
January 2020 —
Malawi reached a key milestone in decentralization of the health sector at the end of 2019 with the establishment of district-level condom coordination committees to enhance distribution and access in all 28 districts. The District Condom Coordination Committees (DCCCs), oversight groups with clearly defined roles and responsibilities for accountability, were outlined as a priority in Malawi’s National Condom Strategy (2015-2020), which was developed with USAID support. Initially, HP+ helped to establish the coordinating committees in five priority districts and shared the approach with PSI to reach an additional three districts. HP+ scaled it up further in two more districts and then leveraged funding from UNFPA through the Family Planning Association of Malawi to set up committees in the remaining 18 districts to establish a Comprehensive Condom Program in every district. During the set-up process, HP+ oriented district staff and community partners on reporting tools for the community and facilities to improve distribution and prevent stockouts. Malawi’s National Condom Strategy was launched in 2017 by the Ministry of Health and Population’s Department of HIV/AIDS to improve availability of and access to male and female condoms and condom compatible commodities, for the purpose of preventing unintended pregnancies, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections. Read local coverage
Multimedia Advocacy Tool Links Investment in Malawi’s Youth and Economic Development
January 2020 —
HP+ recently launched Growing Together: Multisectoral Investments in Malawi’s Youth, an ENGAGE multimedia presentation that describes how investments in young people’s health, education, employment opportunities, and participation in governance can create a window of opportunity for accelerated economic development. The presentation was developed with the guidance of a multidisciplinary taskforce chaired by Malawi’s Ministry of Health and included youth leaders and representatives from government and civil society. The presentation was utilized by UNFPA to launch their event “Road to Nairobi for the ICPD” on World Population Day 2019, and stakeholders across sectors will continue to use the resource in their call for increased cross-sectoral investments in Malawi’s young people.
Youth and Family Planning Emerge as Priorities for Malawian Economists Focused on Development
January 2020 —
The Economic Association of Malawi (ECAMA), an independent association of economists, committed in early November 2019, to the management of population growth and investments in youth and articulated the importance of policies that support job creation as key in harnessing Malawi’s demographic dividend. At their annual meeting, ECAMA members published a resolution detailing 10 steps that will improve human development. Health Policy Plus provided evidence from RAPID to support the Ministry of Health and Population’s planning team make a case for the integration of population in planning. HP+ technical advisor of family planning, Julius Chingwalu participated as a discussant on the population and development panel.
New Journal Article Highlights Health System Challenges to Implementing Policies
December 2019 —
Since 2011, Malawi’s HIV clinical guidelines have recommended that providers proactively offer family planning to all clients at each ART visit to ensure no missed opportunity to support PLHIV’s reproductive intentions. This approach, called Provider-Initiated Family Planning (PFIP), calls for condoms and injectables to be available at the ART clinic, and referrals for other methods as needed. In 2015, the USAID-funded Health Policy Project assessed the extent of PFIP implementation in Malawi by collecting data at 41 health facilities (both public and NGO) through facility audits, provider interviews, client exit interviews, and mystery client visits. This study – discussed in a new article in Global Health Science and Practice Provider-Initiated Family Planning within HIV Services in Malawi: Did Policy Make It into Practice? – found that contrary to clinical protocols, only 14% of clients at the ART clinic reported being offered family planning during their visit that day. Furthermore, only 24% of providers had received training in FP-HIV integration, 21% had no family planning training at all, and only half of providers had information on where to refer clients for family planning. Only 24% of sites had both condoms and injectables on hand, and only 15% of ART clinics had a full range of FP available. Overwhelmingly most ART clients relied on condoms for FP, yet there was significant demand for family planning among the female ART clients, with about half wanting no more children. These findings suggest that although Malawi has been an early adopter of PFIP, this innovative policy is not being implemented in practice. The authors, Erin K. McGinn (Palladium) and Laili Irani (Population Council), conclude that the demand for integrated services and high unmet need for FP among PLHIV underscores the need for more focused efforts to fully implement PIFP in Malawi’s HIV services.
CCIH Features HP+ Malawi’s Engagement with Community and Religious Leaders on Family Planning
September 2019 —
Malawi's population is one of the fastest-growing in Africa, placing great strain on its health system, environment, and economy—hindering the country's ability to meet its development goals. To address unmet need for family planning services and the needs of adolescent girls and young women at all levels, HP+ is coordinating across multiple sectors including engaging traditional and religious leaders and communities. Christian Connections for International Health (CCIH) published a story this week about a family in Malawi helped by the Evangelical Association of Malawi, under an HP+ supported activity. The account of a family receiving marriage and birth-spacing counseling after a family tragedy, demonstrates how engagement with community leaders on family planning messaging helped on family mend and achieve financial security.
Read more about HP+ Malawi
Non-Profit Radio Organization Builds on Success to Leverage New Funding for Youth Radio
March 2019 —
Developing Radio Partners (DRP), has leveraged its HP+ work with PRB in Malawi to garner more funding that is significantly expanding the listening audience for a community radio project broadcasting messages about youth-friendly health services. With HP+ support, DRP has trained and mentored teams of teenagers over the past two years to produce weekly programs that are aired by community radio stations in three districts in Central and Southern Malawi. Last year, it added two more stations, raising the project’s audience to more than 3 million. Building on the success, DRP has received $30,000 from the Conservation, Food & Health Foundation, based in Boston, to fund similar activities at two more stations through September 2019. Mzati Radio in Mulanje in southern Malawi and the Voice of Livingstonia in Mzuzu in the north were chosen in part because their listening areas have high rates of HIV, and early marriage is prevalent in Mzuzu. DRP is working with teams at the two new stations to produce weekly programs. This includes instruction on technical production as well as information about the National Youth-Friendly Health Services Strategy so the young journalists can accurately spread word via their radio programs to their peers about the services they are entitled to receive.
Exceeding Expectations with a Record Number of Midwives
March 2019 —
On January 25, at a meeting of parliamentarians convened by HP+ partner the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA) Malawi, a representative from the Department of Human Resources Management and Development reported that 925 midwives were recruited and 303 midwives were promoted during fiscal year 2018/2019. This success—which goes even further than the government’s initial commitment to hiring 800 midwives—is in large part due to WRA Malawi’s Bedside Midwives report that highlighted a shortage of 20,000 midwives and has been a key advocacy tool since the campaign began in 2017. At the meeting, WRA Malawi praised the government’s progress to date and asked for continued support through approval of an increased budget to recruit, train, and retain more midwives, and the creation of a district-level nursing and midwifery pathway.
Malawi Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Grows
November 2018 —
Two district hospitals in Malawi were recently certified as “baby-friendly,” meaning that they meet World Health Organization standards under the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, bringing the total number of baby-friendly district hospitals in the country to seven. This achievement comes as Malawi is witnessing stagnating improvements in child survival rates. A baby-friendly hospital encourages and assists mothers to exclusively breastfeed until six months of age, which contributes to improving these survival rates. Since 2018, HP+ has been training, mentoring, and coaching district hospitals on exclusive breastfeeding. The Malawian Ministry of Health intends to achieve baby-friendly certification for all hospitals that provide maternity and antenatal care services; HP+ will continue to support these critical efforts to improve child survival rates in Malawi. Read more about recent progress.
Conference Gives Youth a Seat at the Table on Health Services
July 2018 —
A national youth conference on HIV/AIDS and sexual reproductive health and rights, organized by the National Youth Council of Malawi (NYCOM) and supported by the Global Fund, was held June 28, 2018, in Lilongwe. The conference provided a venue for youth, government, and civil society leaders to exchange best practices and recommendations in sexual and reproductive health, HIV, and other issues that impact youth under the theme is “Reflect and Act for Improved Youth Participation and Leadership.” USAID through the Health Policy Plus (HP+), supported the participation of five youth champions and five district Youth Friendly Health Services coordinators and held capacity building and leadership strengthening sessions for the youth leaders. As a result of advocacy led by youth at the conference, the U.S. Embassy revised its criteria for youth organization eligibility for PEPFAR’s Small Grants Program and NYCOM announced on July 1, 2018, its new board of directors, which until then had several vacancies in critical leadership positions.
Malawi Makes Moves to Strengthen Its Health Information System and Data Use
July 2018 —
On June 25, 2018, Malawi’s Ministry of Health approved the Monitoring and Evaluation Health Information Systems (MEHIS) Strategy 2018-2022. The purpose of the strategy is to provide a blueprint for the Ministry of Health to strengthen Malawi’s health information system, and to ensure that the system can generate and use high-quality data to monitor and evaluate the success of its Health Sector Strategic Plan II. USAID, through the Health Policy Plus (HP+) project, coordinated the development of the strategy, analyzing the implementation of Malawi’s previous health information systems strategy for key achievements, gaps, and lessons learned; facilitating workshops; and contributing to the writing and costing of the strategy. HP+ provided both technical inputs and financial support to the strategy development process, in collaboration with the Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative, the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Kuunika Project, and Germany’s development agency GIZ. A monitoring and evaluation expert seconded by HP+ to the Ministry of Health’s Central Monitoring and Evaluation Division facilitated the efforts.
Journal Article Features Family Planning Sensitization of Religious Leaders in Malawi
February 2018 —
An article describing a University of North Carolina (UNC) study and co-authored by Health Policy Plus Malawi country director, Olive Mtema, was published this month in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics. The article, “Effect of family planning interventions on couple years of protection in Malawi,” features USAID-funded work by the Health Policy Project (HPP) to sensitize religious leaders and their congregations on the benefits of family planning, and address barriers to family planning related to religious beliefs. This work was part of the community mobilization and demand generation aspect of a package of services delivered to two intervention sites as part of a quasi-experimental study conducted by the University of North Carolina (UNC) Project-Malawi. The full package of interventions delivered to study sites included community mobilization and demand generation for family planning, and training and mentoring of health providers in LARC insertion. The study found that uptake of family planning methods, particularly long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC), increased following implementation of the package of family planning interventions.
HP+ Women Leadership Participants Recognized
September 2017 —
Two participants in the USAID-funded HP+ women leadership workshops held in Malawi — Nissily Mushani and Elizabeth Nailantei Kileku — are winners of the 120 under 40 award celebrating the next generation of family planning champions. In support of their nominations, HP+ shared voting information widely through an outreach campaign. Nissaly is a knowledge translation officer at the African Institute for Development and Policy and Elizabeth Nailantie Kileku is a nurse based in Kisumu, Kenya, working for the ministry of health. Winners will each receive $1,000 grant to continue their work in family planning or to jump start new initiatives. The award is organized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with sponsorship from Bayer.
Advancing Respectful Maternity Care
August 2017 —
Based on advocacy by HP+ partner White Ribbon Alliance Malawi, the Government of Malawi committed to train Health Advisory Committee members throughout the country on Respectful Maternity Care. The training aims to sensitize communities about the right to respectful maternity care and open an avenue for women to report issues of disrespect and abuse. The government has also committed to hiring 800 midwives, an important step in addressing the country’s critical shortage of midwives. Similarly, White Ribbon Alliance Zimbabwe conducted three Respectful Maternity Care trainings for all provincial and district nursing officers in Zimbabwe, including midwifery tutors and senior managers from the private sector. Among other materials, each participant was given a locally produced video showing women's experiences of maternity care that the nursing officers can use as an advocacy and education tool at their institutions. This advocacy led to Respectful Maternity Care being incorporated into the monitoring and evaluation criteria used to monitor maternity care in all of Zimbabwe’s health facilities.
World Population Day 2017 – Investing in Family Planning to Meet the SDGs
July 2017 —
This World Population Day, the USAID-funded Health Policy Plus project produced an online slideshow featuring responses to the question, "How can family planning investments help your country achieve the Sustainable Development Goals?" Olive Mtema, HP+ Malawi, responds: “Results from HP+’s DemDiv model estimate that Malawi’s per capita gross domestic product could increase from US$397 (2014) to US$2,148 by 2054 when family planning is included, turning Malawi into a middle-income country around the year 2040.” Responses from Ms. Olive and others are captured in a photo show, and in a blog by HP+ country directors from Malawi, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Wilson Center Event Features Findings of Midwives Survey Supported by USAID
March 2017 —
The USAID-funded Health Policy Project (HP+) supported the “Midwives’ Voices, Midwives’ Realities” policy dialogue at the Wilson Center, in Washington, DC, on February 27th. The event featured Midwives Voices, Midwives Realities, a global survey conducted by the World Health Organization, International Confederation of Midwives, and White Ribbon Alliance. HP+’s work supporting comprehensive midwifery policy reforms was featured at the event, by Nancy Kamwendo, National Coordinator for HP+/White Ribbon Alliance, Malawi, who provided a country perspective on the broader global survey findings. HP+/White Ribbon Alliance Malawi recently conducted a “headcount” survey of Malawian midwives that found that only one-third the number of midwives previously thought to be in service are actively providing direct midwifery services. This headcount, highlighting the shortage of midwives needed to provide adequate pre and postnatal care, will inform policy-making decisions on midwifery. WRA Malawi and HP+ have shared the findings with the Ministry of Health, Parliament, citizens, and journalists. This advocacy campaign is paying off. Ministry officials have recently agreed to use the country-level survey data generated by the HP+/White Ribbon Alliance Malawi team to inform their health sector strategic planning process.
Local CSOs build advocacy capacity in Malawi
September 2016 —
The Malawi Network of AIDS Service Organisations (MANASO) supported several of its member organizations and associate members in writing successful grant proposals, which will advance health budget advocacy work and training funded through the Tiltonse Fund (which receives funds from DIFD, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, and Irish Aid). The success of these proposals flows from a USAID-supported training conducted by HPP in 2015 for local civil society organizations; and through the use of Health Budget Advocacy: A Guide for Civil Society in Malawi, also created under HPP. Activities funded under these grants will help to further disseminate HPP’s guide, training, and knowledge to the local level.
USAID AOR team joins Malawi team to visit community partners
September 2016 —
USAID’s HP+ AOR team visited Malawi in August, meeting with Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO), a local NGO providing a range of HIV-related services for children, youth, and women. While at the YONECO Chinamwali drop-in center, HP+ and USAID staff members were able to see how the 2015–2010 Youth Friendly Health Services (YFHS) Strategy has been implemented since its development and launch in 2015. The National YFHS Strategy was developed with USAID support under the Health Policy Project, and advocates for investments in youth-friendly health services that will ultimately allow Malawi realize a demographic transition for accelerated economic growth. The strategy will ensure that young people complete their education, delay their sexual debut, make informed choices on their sexuality, and transition into healthy young adults as represented in the matrix; and it will reduce the number of children born and minimize HIV transmission.
USAID Study on Male Circumcision Estimated to Save $344M
September 2016 —
An article published in the Pacific Standard (Malawi’s Secret Weapon Against HIV: Male Circumcision, September 8, 2016) highlights the impact of USAID's Voluntary Male Medical Circumcision modeling study conducted by the Health Policy Project. The study recommends that Malawi focus on recruiting men and boys between the ages of 10 and 34 and to prioritize urban areas. The recommendation led the government of Malawi to shift its VMMC focus with an aim to have 60 percent of males between the ages of 10 and 34 in 14 of Malawi’s 28 districts circumcised by 2025. If Malawi reaches this goal the study calculates a potential total savings of $344 million.
Midwives Survey by White Ribbon Alliance Malawi guides Malawi MOH officials
September 2016 —
A recent survey conducted in Malawi by the USAID Health Policy Plus project’s partner, the White Ribbon Alliance, found a total of 3,420 bedside midwives serving an estimated population of 17.3 million people; it estimates the need for an additional 20,217 midwives. It is anticipated that increasing the number of midwives in Malawi will positively impact the country’s frequency of safe births. Safe motherhood coordinators from all districts used the survey findings to develop a factsheet on the current status of midwifery positions, which was presented as a guide for the director of nursing and midwifery services at the Ministry of Health.
ID Study on Male Circumcision Influences Malawi’s VMMC Approach
September 2016 —
The Government of Malawi adjusted its VMMC programming based on recommendations presented in a study authored by the USAID-supported Health Policy Plus project. The study models the impact and cost of focusing Malawi’s VMMC program by client age and geography. It recommends that Malawi focus on recruiting men and boys between the ages of 10 and 34 and to prioritize urban areas. In response to recommendations, the Government of Malawi is shifting its VMMC focus to aim to have 60 percent of males between the ages of 10 and 34 in 14 of Malawi’s 28 districts circumcised by 2025. If Malawi reaches this goal the study calculates a potential total savings of $344 million. The Health Policy Project’s study and its influence on programming in Malawi was featured in a Pacific Standard article on September 8, 2016 (Malawi’s Secret Weapon Against HIV: Male Circumcision).