In this beautiful country, 634 girls and women die in childbirth per 100,000 live births.
Putting this in perspective, that is 70 times higher than here in the UK. Part of the reason for Malawi having such a devastating mortality rate is the severe lack of healthcare professionals.
The WHO estimates that at least 25 doctors, nurses and midwives are needed per 10,000 people to provide adequate coverage of primary healthcare. Yet in 2015, Malawi's health profile reported that there were fewer than 4 midwives per 10,000 population and only 1 doctor for every 50,000 people. Malawi is in dire need of more trained health professionals to provide sufficient healthcare to stop girls and women dying needlessly in childbirth and improve healthcare services across the country.
As the need increases, Malawi is also grappling with a serious lack of trained palliative care staff. At this very moment, men, women and children are dying in unimaginable pain due to a shortage of trained healthcare professionals, who are crucial for providing adequate pain relief and quality care.
This is Annie Khyuza Kasaka, a registered Palliative Care Nurse Specialist at EMMS-supported Mulanje Mission Hospital. She has a gift for engaging with her patients and a desire to help those most in need.
At the tender age of 10, she was inspired by a nurse in her village and decided that she too would one day care for people and relieve their suffering.
"For many years, I was dreaming of being able to care for the sick, show them love and assurance. I want to be that nurse who will bring change to people's lives."
For many poor students like Nurse Annie, the chance to study and become a healthcare professional is a dream come true. Many have grown up in rural regions and experienced the hardships of getting healthcare themselves. They not only recognise the issues surrounding access to healthcare but are passionate about resolving them.
Without more health professionals like Nurse Annie, thousands of Malawians will experience a life of pain and poverty. We believe that every life matters, and by providing scholarships to Malawian students, we are investing not only in their future but also in the future health of a nation.