Organized Network of Services for Everyone's Health Activity: Our Impact

 {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: 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.

Maria Galasiano and baby Miliasi

Maria Galasiano had been in labor for 16 hours. Finally, the medical assistant on duty called Balaka District Hospital 66 km away to send an ambulance to pick up the young mother. The lives of her and her baby were at risk. The ambulance arrived at Phimbi Health Center after midnight and also had to take an IV-bound man on a stretcher, plus caretakers for both patients, and a nurse. They all packed into the ambulance.