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IRIN Examines Impact Of Government Corruption On Malawi’s Health Sector

“Extensive looting of public funds by government officials in Malawi has dangerously undermined the country’s public health sector, with hundreds of public health workers striking in recent weeks to protest late payments of their September salaries,” IRIN reports. “The delays were the result of a financial scandal involving government officials who exploited loopholes in a government payment system to make fraudulent deposits into the accounts of companies that did not have government contracts,” the news service notes, adding, “The health worker strike, which started in early October, crippled operations at public hospitals, which are also experiencing depleted budgets for essential medical equipment and drugs.” According to the news service, “The impacts of the high-level fraud, which local media are calling ‘Cashgate,’ are likely to be felt for months to come as international donors, who make up 40 percent of Malawi’s national budget and are particularly important to the health sector, threaten to pull out of the country” (10/24).