The Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) is an independent, non-profit making alliance of civil society organizations in the health sector interested in promoting equitable access to quality, affordable and responsive health care services in Malawi. MHEN achieves this through influencing policy formulation, review, and practice. The Network was formed in the year 2000 and got registered with the Government of Malawi in 2004. The network was formed after being in touch with EQUINET and appreciated the need to have national network focusing on health advocacy. The Network uses strategies which include lobby and advocacy, research, civic education and information sharing.
MHEN is a membership organization, currently with over ninety members comprising of organizations and a few individuals. MHEN, through its network members, district coordination teams and district chapters, works throughout Malawi. However, some efforts are concentrated in selected districts depending on identified health issues and health indicators of the district.
PRINCIPLES AND VALUES
MHEN lives by the following Principles and Values:
Social Responsibility for Health: We believe that public health principles should prevail over corporate pursuit of profit in determination of health policy and programmes.
Health as a Human Right: We believe that government and international organisations policies and practice should respect people’s rights to health as a fundamental human right
People Centred Health Sector: We believe in universal access to comprehensive essential health care services on the premise of equity, social justice and rights; and that our bias will be towards the poor and the marginalised.
Solidarity within the Network: We believe in building a network that strives to balance the common and diverse needs of each of the members; to respect their individual values, uniqueness and roles; and to continually ensure that the focus of all our collective activities is to benefit the health of all Malawians regardless of status.
Commitment among our Membership: In establishing a level of commitment from individual members that reflects their individual needs and capacities in balance with the organisational strategies needed to sustain MHEN as a vibrant, evolving and responsive network in health and closely related issues.
MHEN’s Advocacy work is guided by the following strategic objectives:
- To advocate for strategically pro-poor health policies
- To monitor the effectiveness of the implementation of the health policies with special emphasis on marginalized and vulnerable groups
- To undertake appropriate research for advocacy, sensitization and awareness creation
- To promote health rights for both patients and service providers
Since the inception of MHEN, the Network has been implementing several strategies and carrying out activities to influence policies and to promote best practice in the health sector. Broadly, MHEN’s program areas are as follows:
- Health Systems Strengthening
- Campaigning and Popular Mobilization