Malawi: Our Impact

 {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: 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.

 {Photo credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH}A health worker checks malaria commodities at a private clinic in Balaka, Malawi.Photo credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH

“Malaria is a very big problem that we are still fighting,” says Dr. Samantha Musasa, Medical Officer for Balaka district, located in Southern Malawi. Indeed, Malaria kills some 435,000 people around the world each year, the majority of them children. In Malawi, the prevalence of malaria among children under five remains dangerously high, at around 23.6%.

A woman learns more about available family planning methods during an outreach clinic visit to Mulanje, Malawi.Photo Credit: Samy Rakotoniaina

 

24-year-old Hawa Swaleyi facilitates a discussion about relationships with her youth group at Kapiri Health Center, Malawi.

The grounds around Kapiri Health Center in Malawi’s Nkhotakota District are a beehive of activity, with boys and girls of all ages playing hotchpotch, kicking a makeshift ball, and chattering loudly. Suddenly, they run for the indaba—a repurposed outpatient waiting shelter. Hawa Swaleyi is approaching, carrying her frame with an aura of grace and positivity. With a familiar smile she greets her youth group, who cheerily respond in sing-song voices.

 {Photo Credit: MSH}Fire due to a power surge erupts at Mangochi District Hospital in Malawi, destroying critical vaccine supplies.Photo Credit: MSH

When a fire recently destroyed the Maternal and Child Health block of Mangochi District Hospital in Malawi, vaccines intended for the more than 45,000 children and an equal number of pregnant women that the hospital serves were destroyed. The vaccine depot housed in this block supports the distribution of vaccines to 44 fixed sites and 312 outreach sites for administration to children and pregnant women as part of the National Expanded Program on Immunizations (EPI).

 {Photo Credit: Rhiana Smith}Aziz Abdallah, DHSS Project Director, MSH, greets guests at end-of-project eventPhoto Credit: Rhiana Smith

The District Health System Strengthening and Quality Improvement for Service Delivery (DHSS) Project shared its achievements on Wednesday, March 7, after five years of work to reduce the burden of HIV/AIDS in Malawi. Guests gathered at the Bingu International Conference Center in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, for an end-of-project event that featured speakers from DHSS, the Ministry of Health, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Management Sciences for Health (MSH), which led the DHSS Project,  

{Photo Credit: Chisomo Mdalla}Inspecting the water system at Mitundu Rural Hospital.Photo Credit: Chisomo Mdalla

When a blackout occurred after Pilirani Kabango ended her shift one September evening in 2017, she did not anticipate any unusual consequences. Power outages during this time of year are not uncommon in Malawi, and despite high temperatures and the fact that the rivers supporting electricity generation were drying up, demand for power continues. The three water tanks at Lilongwe’s Mitundu Rural Hospital, where Pilirani works as a nursing supervisor—among the biggest rural public hospitals in Malawi—had a combined capacity of 30,000 liters.

{Photo Credit: Henry Nyaka}Grace Mathunda.Photo Credit: Henry Nyaka

At the time that Grace Mathunda started to fall ill, she also grew increasingly concerned over the poor health of her second child. Eventually he became so weak that he stopped going to school. When Mathunda, 32, became pregnant again, she went to Makhetha Health Center in Blantyre, Malawi, where she was tested for HIV. As with over 30 percent of people living with HIV in the country, Mathunda was unaware of her status.[1] She tested positive.

{Photo credit: Henry Nyaka}Malawian Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi and US Ambassador Virginia Palmer cut the ribbon to officially open the Umodzi Family Center, an HIV and tuberculosis clinic at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, on World AIDS Day.Photo credit: Henry Nyaka

The Umodzi Family Center, an HIV and tuberculosis clinic at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, officially opened on World AIDS Day with the support of Management Sciences for Health (MSH). Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi said the time had come for the southern region to have a referral HIV center. “I have to thank all stakeholders and development partners, more especially the United States, for the collaboration in making this project a success,” said Muluzi.

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