Resource Spotlight: Double Burden of Human Resource and HIV Crises: a Case Study of Malawi

Health expenditure in Malawi by provider sector
Health expenditure in Malawi by provider sector

Two crises dominate the health sectors of sub-Saharan African countries: those of human resources and of HIV. Nevertheless, there is considerable variation in the extent to which these two phenomena affect sub-Saharan countries, with a few facing extreme levels of both: Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, the Central African Republic and Malawi.

This paper reviews the continent-wide situation with respect to this double burden before considering the case of Malawi in more detail. In Malawi, there has been significant concurrent investment in both an Emergency Human Resource Program and an antiretroviral therapy program which was treating 60,000 people by the end of 2006. Both areas of synergy and conflict have arisen, as the two programs have been implemented. These highlight important issues for program planners and managers to address and emphasize that planning for the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy while simultaneously strengthening health systems and the human resource situation requires prioritization among compelling cases for support, and time -not just resources. [Abstract]

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