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 {Photo credit: Erik Schouten/MSH}Alinafe flood camp, Chikwawa district, Malawi.Photo credit: Erik Schouten/MSH

In March, heavy rains following Tropical Cyclone Idai devastated Malawi. The storm injured 677 people; 59 died. According to the Malawi government, some 87,000 people were displaced from their homes. Some families spent nights in school-based emergency shelters, while classrooms teemed with students during the day. Some lived in tents, sometimes shared among four to five people. Others had to fend for themselves, building makeshift shelters from scavenged materials. The storm also ravaged the crops and livestock most families rely on for food and income.

 {Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH}MSH staff member, Christopher Ogar, verifies information from a HIV testing services register with facility staff at General Hospital Suleija in Niger state, Nigeria.Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH

In Nigeria, home to the world’s second-largest HIV epidemic, successfully linking every person who tests positive for HIV to accessible and culturally appropriate care and support services is a big challenge.

{Photo credit: Rejoice Phiri/MSH}Midwife Chirford Semu stands in the labor and delivery room at Bowe Health Center, in Dowa district, Malawi.Photo credit: Rejoice Phiri/MSH

Chirford Semu knows that time is of the essence when complications arise during labor and delivery. He is a midwife at Bowe Health Center in Dowa district, one of the most remote areas in Malawi. This single health center serves an estimated 42,445 people. Of these, 9,762 are women of childbearing age, and there are approximately 2,100 expected births per year in the district. Women who develop birth complications at this facility have to travel 96 kilometers on unpaved roads to reach Dowa District Hospital, the district’s referral facility.

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