Malawi has free healthcare, but operates with very limited resources. Hospitals and clinics suffer from lack of funds, equipment, drugs and staff. There is only one doctor per 88,300 people so hospitals and clinics are mostly staffed by clinical officers, medical assistants, and nurses. HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death amongst adults in Malawi. Widespread food insecurity and malnutrition exacerbates the pressures on healthcare provision.
We have helped the Malawian charity, Ndi Moyo to establish the first palliative care centre in Malawi. The centre provides desperately needed care for terminally ill people in Salima and the surrounding villages. Ndi Moyo is used as a model for new clinics and trains nurses from other areas of Malawi in palliative care. We purchased and renovated a property next door to the clinic which provides accommodation for trainees and volunteers. Our surrounding land has been used to provide a training centre and a model garden in which patients and their families learn how to cultivate medicinally useful crops
Tidzuke Orphan Care
We funded the building of a centre, incorporating kitchen and toilet facilities, for the Tidzuke Orphan Care project in Kochilira village, Mchinji District. This building is central to the life of the village and many surrounding villages. It runs an orphan feeding centre which serves 4000 dinners to vulnerable children per month. In addition, it provides a support group for people with HIV/AIDS, a nursery school, a library, a women’s support group, as well as the Vocational Skills Centre mentioned previously.
This is the same village in which we have supported both the primary and secondary schools through our school building projects. One very pleasing result so far is the growing co-operation between the school and the orphan care centre, for example the secondary school will use the new building for their public exams, which previously took place under trees.
We have bought crucial medical equipment and a library of medical books for the small rural hospital at Mua. We purchased an oxygen concentrator, a patient monitor, and two pulse-oxymeters which bring a major improvement to the medical care that this hospital can offer. The library has made a major difference to the ongoing training of medical staff at all levels. In 2013 we funded the re-equipping of a vehicle used by the hospital as an ambulance and as transport for their health education youth outreach project.
We helped to fund the award-winning film Mawa Langa (My Tomorrow), made by Purple Fields Productions. Malawian primary school children star in this Chichewa-language drama dealing with common issues relating to HIV & AIDS. If children can be taught how to protect themselves against HIV before they reach puberty, the result could be a dramatic reduction in the prevalence of the disease.
The film was made in 2010 and has since been shown to audiences across Malawi at open-air screenings and on national television. Copies have been distributed to other charities in the country, accompanied by a users’ leaflet and suggestions for discussion topics and follow-up activities. Screening and distribution of the film are handled by Temwa and Yoneco.