During the budgetary debates of the 49th session of the Malawi Parliament in October 2020, three money bills authorising the Minister of Finance to enter into a financing agreement with the International Development Association and European Investment Bank were passed.
Malawi Parliament in Session
Among these bills was Bill No.16 of 2020 (Additional Financing for Southern Africa Tuberculosis and Health Systems Support Project) which is expected to borrow over K2 billion and seeks to improve coverage and quality of Tuberculosis control and occupational lung disease services in Malawi. The bill further seeks to strengthen national and cross-border preparedness and response to disease outbreaks.
According to the 2020 WHO Global TB Report, Malawi had a total of 17,100 notified TB cases and a treatment coverage rate of 62%. The country counts with a national budget of US$27 million with only 6.6% coming from domestic funds while 52% are provided from international donors. The funding gap stands at 42% of the total budget. Furthermore 70% of the population live below international poverty line.
Hon. Deus Gumba Banda
Chairperson of the Committee on HIV / AIDS and Nutrition, Hon. Deus Gumba Banda who is also member of the national TB Caucus and Global TB Caucus welcomed the bill expressing hope that the additional funding would contribute greatly to the TB response which over the months has been affected by the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. As of December 3rd 2020, the country had recorded 6,040 cases and 185 deaths.