Malawi: Healthcare for the hardest-to-reach
Mokwanira, (meaning “Thorough” in the Chichewa language) is a project to address the needs of some of the hardest-to-reach people in Malawi, including needs that might otherwise be ignored in the fight against COVID-19.
It will reach 580,000 people struggling with sickness and poverty in hard-to-reach places in south Malawi to access quality healthcare. Working with long-term partners, Mulanje Mission Hospital and the Palliative Care Association of Malawi, Mokwanira will support communities to:
Detect tuberculosis early and stop its spread
Improve water, sanitation and hygiene in health facilities
Build capacity of rural community health teams
Ensure a sustainable and green future for Mulanje Mission Hospital
Improve palliative care for families in remote areas with chronic illness
Water is Life
"Madzi ndi moyo" is a declaration in Chichewa that translates "water is life". But this essential supply is missing from many health facilities. 8% of health facilities have no access to water at all and at 23% of facilities, patients cannot easily access water. This lack of clean water – one of the fundamentals of healthcare – makes it much harder to protect patients and healthcare staff from infectious disease.
In response, your support will improve water and sanitation, the first line of defence against infectious diseases, at 24 government health centres.
It is vital that we act now to stop the spread of tuberculosis which is curable yet kills three people every minute globally. Within 20 health facilities in South Malawi, we found that despite TB’s high prevalence, 23% of these health facilities have no TB committee, and even where they do, 84% of these committees are untrained.
In response, your support will help detect TB early and stop its spread by training and equipping community TB volunteers around 6 government health facilities. People suffering from tuberculosis will be detected early, referred for care and prevented from spreading it to others.
Sustainable, Greener Healthcare
Electicity supplies continue to be unreliable and are subject to rising prices in Malawi. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 34% of hospitals have reliable access to electricity. Vital services, medical supplies and patient safety are put at risk when there is no power.
In response, your support will ensure a sustainable, cost-effective, green future for Mulanje Mission Hospital. Increased solar power capacity and the installation of a solar-powered pump for all year-round water will ensure the hospital can cope sustainably with an increase of patients during covid and beyond.
Stronger Healthcare in Rural Malawi
84% of the Malawi's population live in rural areas. This is why effective rural healthcare systems are essential if people are to receive the quality care they need and deserve. In 2018, UNICEF reported that only 46% of the population has access to a formal health facility within a 5km radius, and only 20% of the population lives within 25 km of a hospital.
In response, your support means local community health committees and action groups will be trained and linked in with Hospital Advisory Committees to improve local healthcare. Women employed at health facilities will be mentored by women in more senior positions.
In addition, care for hard-to-reach people with chronic illness will be improved through 20 remote health centres integrating holistic palliative care into Community Health with a model that can be replicated.
Please consider supporting us in projects just like this one to bring healthcare to people in hard-to-reach areas.