U.S. Investment Leads to 365 Healthcare Workers Joining Malawi Civil Service
Lilongwe, October 3, 2022 – At the end of last month (September 2022), 365 health care workers joined the Malawi civil service thanks to U.S. investment and collaboration with the Government of Malawi and the Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM).
Since 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has received close to $13 million dollars annually to support the recruitment and salaries of 365 health care workers in six (6) districts: Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba, Chikwawa, Mangochi, and Machinga.
The following are the cadres that were recruited and are being absorbed by the Government of Malawi into the mainstream health system:
- Clinical technicians: 71
- Nurse Midwife Technicians: 167
- Pharmacy Technicians: 11
- Lab Technicians: 12
- Lab Assistants: 2
- Lab Technologists: 52
- Health Surveillance Assistants: 50
The healthcare workers will continue providing HIV/AIDS treatment, care, and prevention services including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), antiretroviral treatment (ART), and education, in Ministry of Health (MOH) and CHAM facilities across the country. This is part of CDC and PEPFAR’s plans to help build the country’s workforce capacity and achieve sustainable impact.
“Absorbing these healthcare workers into the mainstream workforce shows the Government of Malawi’s strong commitment to expediting progress toward an AIDS-free generation,” said U.S. Ambassador David Young. “Malawians living with HIV will continue to receive high quality care thanks to our continued collaboration.”
According to the Secretary of Health, through the Deputy Director of Laboratory Services Josephy Bitilinyu-Bangoh, the quality of laboratory services in the facilities will continue to improve thanks to the skills imparted to laboratory personnel. “Also, there won’t be viral load backlogs and staff burnout as a result of staff shortages,” he said.
CHAM Executive Director Happy Makala described the project and the transition as a huge success. “The PEPFAR-supported health care workers have long played a significant role in improving HIV service delivery in our facilities. Losing them at the end of the project would have been a big setback. We are grateful to all stakeholders who worked tirelessly to ensure the sustained availability of qualified workers to perform this critical work.”
Lisa Kachere is a nurse who works in supporting the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) partnership at a clinic in Blantyre. She expressed her excitement at the prospect of joining the civil service. “Firstly, I am happy that PEPFAR afforded us an employment opportunity. Secondly, I am happy that the government agreed to absorb us. I am a national trainer of PrEP providers and I want to continue supporting efforts to eradicate HIV/AIDS in Malawi.”
Congratulations to the Ministry of Health and CHAM HR directorates, the service commissions, and all team players for the tireless effort they put in ensuring the successful absorption of the healthcare workers.