NGOs petition the Malawi Government

to include life-saving commodities on EML
NGOs petition the Malawi Government
During a door-to-door prenatal counseling visit, Stembile Phiri, a Health Surveillance Assistant, talks to a woman, in a village in Dowa District in Malawi. © UNICEF/Noorani

In Malawi, in late November, 15 non-governmental organizations that deal with reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) have petitioned the government to update the country’s Essential Medicines List (EML) to include by 2015 the 13 essential commodities identified by the UN Commission on Life-saving Commodities for Women and Children.

The NGOs held a press briefing on 28 November in Blantyre to highlight how the 13 life-saving commodities are an essential part of Malawi’s commitment to accelerate the reduction in maternal and children deaths. Malawi had not updated its EML since 2009, thereby making it difficult to procure, stock and distribute the 13 essential commodities.

Malawi Secretary for Health Chris Kang’ombe said he will respond to the EML update request by mid- December.

This petition comes on the heel of a September request by health and Rights education programme, a local NGO for the Government to revise the EML and include the essential RMNCH commodities.

Maternal mortality in Malawi is currently at 675 per 100,000 live births against a target of 155 per 100,000 live births by 2015. Newborn mortality has also remained high.

See clippings from Malawian newspapers about the NGOs’ petition here, in The Nation and The Daily Times.

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