Privatisation of Health and Education Services in Malawi

The privatisation of education and health services in Southern Africa, Malawi included has been on a rising trend. Private actors have been assuming the role of governments in providing these two essential services. Non-state provision of education and health is delivered by several actors that include NGOs, faith-based organisations, philanthropic, community care-giving and private companies that are in the form of low-fee private schools, hospitals and clinics; for profit private schools and health centres; education and health public-private partnerships. The impacts of privatisation in Malawi have been both positive and negative. The negative impacts have been the unaffordability of user fees charged by private players triggering inequality on access to services; the reluctance of the Malawian Government to adequately fund the sectors and effectively regulate private actor activities and the disenfranchisement of poor and unemployed citizens from their human right entitlements to enjoying access to education and health care. Positive impacts that take a human rights approach include the fact that private players have been filling the gap that government run facilities have been failing to adequately resource and administer thus to some degree promoting and upholding rights to access to health and education.