CHE researchers discuss key resource allocation issues at successful health economics workshop in Malawi

Posted on 2 August 2016

In early June, CHE researchers hosted a three-day workshop in Lilongwe, attended by key stakeholders from the region, to discuss topics surrounding the use of modelling and health economics in supporting resource allocation decisions in Malawi.

The workshop focussed upon examining the current use and value of modelling and health economic analysis in guiding resource allocation in HIV and other disease areas, and informing on-going Government health reforms on revenue generation and purchasing/contracting. 

The event was organised by Paul Revill and Alex Rollinger from CHE, in collaboration with the HIV Modelling Consortium and Malawian Ministry of Health, with funding from the University of York External Engagement Award and Impact Acceleration Account. It was attended by a range of within-country analysts and researchers; donor partners and senior representatives from the Malawian Government. Attendees included Hon. Dr. Peter Kumpalume (Minister for Health), Dr. Charles Mwansambo (Secretary for Health), and Hon. Juliana Lunguzi MP (Chair of the Parliamentary Committee for Health). 

CHE researchers were joined in presenting new research by representatives from world-leading disease modelling groups: Optima, Avenir Health, and HIV Synthesis. Presentations were also made by policy-makers from the Ministry of Health and National AIDS Commission, and the international think-tank: Chatham House.   

Jessica Ochalek and Karl Claxton presented their work to date on a review of Malawi’s previous Essential Healthcare Package (EHP) and the design of a framework tool for use in the development of the revised EHP for 2016 – 2021, and discussed the value of considering opportunity costs in future budgetary decisions. Miqdad Asaria presented on the equity considerations for the revised EHP, and Mark Sculpher discussed how the revised EHP may be successfully institutionalised. 

Attendees took part in a number of engaging open discussions which revealed the challenges and opportunities of using empirical analyses for more effective policy formulation. These included: generalised weaknesses in the healthcare systems and limits in key resource inputs; evidence of imbalanced allocation of donor funds across national priorities – particularly in relation to HIV – and the knock-on effects on the wider healthcare sector; high unpredictability of funding and excessive donor conditions. 

The need for local engagement in modelling and health economic analyses was highlighted, as well we the need to deliberate all available evidence when forming policy. Hon. Dr. Peter Kumpalume, Minister for Health, emphasised his personal commitment to supporting health economic analysis in Malawi and all participants expressed commitment to closer collaboration between analysts and policymakers in the country.

CHE would like to thank everyone who attended the event, with a special thanks to Gerald Manthalu and Dominic Nkhoma at the Ministry of Health, Malawi, and Tim Hallett, Soraya Rusmaully and Ellen McRobie at the HIV Modelling Consortium for their support with the planning and organisation of the workshop.  

A summary of the event can be viewed here: Malawi workshop - June 2016 - Summary report (PDF , 1,810kb)