Norway, UNDP sign cost -sharing agreement on Capacity Development in Health Project

Dec 9, 2013

UNV doctors attending to patients at the out-patient department at Malingunde Health Centre in Lilongwe. Photo: Steve kamponda, UNDP malawi.

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has signed a cost-sharing agreement with the United Nations Development Programme in Malawi to support the Capacity Development in Health Project in the country.

In the agreement, Norway will contribute USD 1, 636,500 (about MK 654,600,000)
to help the Ministry of Health retain 28 of the 44 International UNV doctors whose contracts were ending in that month. The funding will support the placement of these volunteer Doctors for one more year until December 2014.

According to the Ministry of Health, the contribution will go a long way to boost health care service delivery in the country as it will ensure the availability of specialist doctors offering quality services to the people. While the College of Medicine is making significant strides in training general practitioners, it is apparent that the health sector still requires the services of additional personnel, including all 44 UNV doctors currently serving in Malawi. Apparently, it will take Government 4-5 years to close the human resource gap in the health sector.

The agreement was signed by Ambassador Asbjorn Eidhammer representing the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Malawi.

The Capacity Development in Health Project aims to support the Ministry of Health to deliver quality health services to the people of Malawi through recruiting specialist UNV doctors and general practitioners in central and district hospitals. In the hospitals, they
develop and strengthen skills and capacities of local staff while providing much needed specialist expertise to patients.

The Project is in line with the MGDS II and supports the Government to achieve its goal of delivering quality health services to the public in an efficient, demand driven and effective manner according the Essential Health Package (EHP) as outlined in the Ministry of Health 2012-2016 Health Sector Strategic Plan. 

The initiative to support the Ministry of Health in Malawi with the services of UN Volunteer Doctors has been ongoing since
2001 and is likely to come to an end in December 2014. An exit strategy is being prepared to enable the Government to phase out the volunteer doctors in a sustainable way which does not undermine access to health services by the population. 

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