On February 21, the Malawi Ministry of Health launched a new Health Promotion Policy. The policy, developed after wide consultation with government departments and communication experts, seeks to build inter-sectoral collaboration to tackle the socio-economic determinants of health.
The Health Promotion Policy will ensure that efforts to keep Malawians healthy are not limited to the treatment of the sick in health facilities but also extend to promoting healthy lifestyles and reducing socio-economic inequalities that cause poor health outcomes.
The launch of the Health Promotion Policy was preceded by the unveiling of the refurbished and new facilities at the Health Education Section of the Malawi Ministry of Health. These facilities were restored with support from JHU∙CCP’s USAID-funded SSDI-Communication project and include a resource center, new website, conference room, boardroom and studio.
The Deputy Minister for Health, Mr. Chikumbutso Hiwa, M.P. and other dignitaries including Malawi’s Secretary for Health, the UNFPA Resident Representative, the WHO Country Representative, the Director for CDC Malawi, USAID Health Team Leader Mirriam Lutz, Ministry of Health Directors, zonal and district representatives and other partners, were given a tour of the facilities. A highlight of the tour was the visit to the studio where a panel discussion on health promotion in Malawi was recorded by the attending experts to demonstrate the studio’s utility.
Ms. Lutz noted that equipping the Health Education Unit with the right tools to provide leadership in the implementation of the new Health Promotion Policy is a critical step towards operationalizing the policy and, as such, is of utmost priority to the Government of Malawi and its partners, including the U.S. Mission in Malawi. The Deputy Minister of Health spoke about the role of the Ministry of Health in ensuring that the people of Malawi live a healthy and disease-free life.