Southern Region, Malawi (2015-2016)

Following success in the Malawi Central region program, the Ministry of Health requested the scale up of the program to the most populous part of Malawi, the Southern region. Our objective was to implement a health systems strengthening model that would support the MoH by concentrating our efforts mainly on upstream processes to create a strong multi stakeholder approach, boost the MoH leadership capacity through mentoring, and impart leadership & management skills to the district health management teams. This approach meant bringing together a consortium of partners with a presence in the southern region to work collaboratively as a team with a view to enhance accountability and efficient use of available resources. Partners included Dignitas International, SSDI, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).

We worked with all 13 health district management teams as well as the South East and South West zonal management teams. Mentorship of district teams was largely driven by MoH, further entrenching the Spark culture and enhancing in-house capacity to continue with this work. Programmatic improvements were realised particularly in early infant diagnosis as a result of home grown solutions identified by the districts. Relationships between zones and districts, and between national and zonal levels were also improved through increased interactions and communication.