Malawi has some of the worst health statistics in the world, ranking 166 out of 177 countries. This is the result of HIV & AIDS, food insecurity, weak governance, and many human resources challenges. Health care vacancies range anywhere from 30-80%, and Malawi only has 252 doctors in the entire country. The health system is regularly plagued with stock outs of key medicines and supplies, as a result of poor procurement and distribution practices. Malawi has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world; the average prevalence for sub-Saharan Africa is 7.5%, Malawi has 12% prevalence in the adult population.
More than 50% of Malawi’s population lives further than 5 km from a health center. Health care workers in the community, who are capable of providing essential health care services to those living in ‘hard to reach areas,’ are essential. Meet the HSAs – Health Surveillance Assistants.