Malawi Towards Sustainable Public Health

By Aisha Amidu

Malawi is expected to achieve sustainable public health through the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan and the National Health Research that was launched on Friday at Lilongwe Crossroads Hotel.

The Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM) Strategic Plan 2018-2022 aims at promoting a centre of excellence in the public health that contributes to quality and productive life of all people living in Malawi.

The core technical functional components of PHIM are Public Health Reference Laboratories (PHRL); Research and Development; Epidemiology and Surveillance.

The reviewed 2018-2022 Strategic Plan will help Malawi fill gaps of health insecurities that existed in the past before the strategic plan was reviewed.

The strategic plan was reviewed by the Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) with support from stakeholders so as to reflect changes that occurred in health and other sectors in the last five years of 2012-2017.

Minister of Health and Population, Jappie Mhango said the reviewed PHIM Strategic Plan will help in the prevention of communicable diseases as government has the public health institute as its surveillance tool.

“Government of Malawi, through Ministry of Health insists on the prevention, and for us to do that we needed to have an institution which will help observe some diseases which spread widely,” he said.

Mhango said this would be done through the core technical components of PHIM (Public Health Reference Laboratories, Research and Development, and Epidemiology and Surveillance).

The minister added that the Public Health Institute of Malawi would handle all surveillance issues and help in making informed health policies, saying proper research in the Ministry of Health will have already been handled by PHIM.

PHIM Team Leader Dr. Mathew Kagoli said the aim of reviewing the PHIM 2018-202 Strategic Plan was to identify improvements in the health sector by monitoring the disease trends.

“It is only through disease surveillance that we are able to recognise an outbreak and this will help us in communicating quickly and responding before things become out of hand.

“This will save lives which could have been lost if communication had not been done well,” Kagoli said.

The broad outcome of PHIM Strategic Plan 2018-2022 is to have an effective and efficient mechanism for surveillance, response, control and prevention of diseases, conditions and threats of public health importance.