24 Aug Marking Another Milestone Towards Achieving 95-95-95: Successful Health Worker Transition Takes Place in Malawi
July 2020 marked a milestone month for HRH2030’s Malawi activity. The country’s Department of Human Resource Management and Development at the Ministry of Health finalized the transition of health workers previously supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the HRH2030 program to the government payroll.
Since 2017, HRH2030, in partnership with USAID through PEPFAR, has supported the Government of Malawi in its commitment to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic by addressing workforce shortages in areas with high HIV/AIDS burdens. HRH2030 recruited and deployed more than 300 health workers trained in HIV service delivery to Ministry of Health and Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) health facilities in Lilongwe and Zomba, two of the highest HIV/AIDS burden districts in the country. The Government of Malawi welcomed this initial support to recruit and pay salaries for health workers, who are critical to the provision of health and HIV/AIDS service delivery, and signed an agreement with the U.S. Government to gradually absorb the health workers by 2020.
Today, HRH2030 is thrilled to share our congratulations on this successful and timely transition of health workers to the Malawi government payroll. The initiative required collaboration at all levels of the health system, across national local government offices and district health offices, in alignment with the country’s devolved government management system. The transition of HIV health workers to the government health workforce is particularly meaningful as it will better position Malawi to maintain its gains towards achievement of 95-95-95 goals while also continuing to provide essential HIV services in the new COVID-19 environment.
The support provided through HRH2030 and PEPFAR is a good example of how USAID’s partnerships help countries meet their own development priorities. While Malawi still needs more health workers, this program has placed hundreds of health workers where they are having significant impact. With this support, along with new treatment policies and other interventions, the country is closing the gap on achieving its 95-95-95 targets: Malawi is currently at 90-86-89, marking significant progress toward epidemic control.