Medical Programs

A critical need for health care assistance is evident throughout Malawi. The nationwide system of universal healthcare put in place in the 1960s and ’70s has been unable to keep pace with the demands of a population that has grown from four million to 18 million in the past 50 years. Adding to the population explosion has been the advent of HIV/Aids, the continued onslaught of malaria, tuberculosis, malnutrition, cholera, and other diseases and problems that are absent, or more fully controlled in western medical communities.

The critical nature of the need was recognized in the early 90s, and its fulfillment helped form a major focus for the Malawi Project. From its earliest year’s doctors, nurses and other medical personnel from first-world nations formed teams working in the warm heart of Africa. Still today, as a result of the foundation laid by the Malawi Project, medical teams continue to offer assistance in various parts of the country.

In the first phase of medical programming, one-on-one assistance was extended to individual villages, trading centers, and rural hospitals. Phase two saw the creation of a well-supplied, Malawi staffed, 5-building, 110-bed, medical complex near the capital city of Lilongwe. Here first-world medical personnel could base their operations. Supplies and equipment stored and staged at this facility were distributed to a number of individual medical facilities, primarily in the central and southern regions of the country.  Phase three has seen the enlargement of a nationwide outreach to government-run facilities, with supplies going into over 600 facilities.

Medical Supplies

Through more than a quarter of a century, the distribution of medical equipment, supplies, and medicine has been the largest program of the Malawi Project. While a portion of the supplies has gone to private, and non-governmental facilities, the bulk of the shipments have gone directly to rural, district, and level one government facilities. By and large, private facilities have outside funding and resources, while government facilities have no source beyond the cash-starved government. While government facilities are the most neglected, the bulk of the population, especially the poor, passes through the government system.

The U.S.-based Malawi Project enjoys a relationship with the government allowing it direct access to individual facilities through our sister organization in Malawi, Action for Progress. This policy has been in place for 27 years and ensures supplies and equipment continue to reach the poor. In 2019, working with Action for Progress, a major new distribution hub was completed just west of the capital city of Lilongwe, ensuring sufficient space for storage, staging, and distribution of supplies nationwide.

Over the years, shipments have included top-of-the-line equipment such as x-ray and ultrasound units, kidney dialysis machines, surgical tables, and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. General items like beds, mattresses, over-bed tables, nightstands, and lighting supplies have helped upgrade wards and individual patient rooms. Bulk supplies that have shipped include medical protective gloves, operating room gowns, and items as simple as burn ointment, band-aids, gauze, and tape. Mops, brooms, and cleaning supplies forwards and operating theaters also make their way on these 40-foot cargo containers.

Medical Stories

  • MOBILITY OFFERS AID TO THE FAR REACHES OF THE NATION

    MOBILITY OFFERS AID TO THE FAR REACHES OF THE NATION

    Northern Malawi … Isaac Gondwe, at the age of 72, suffers from an extreme case of diabetes. He was born in 1952 and currently lives in Luangwa village in the district of Rumphi. While it is far away from the Action for Progress distribution center in Lilongwe, the long arm of mobility distribution reaches every…

  • KOLESI IS THANKFUL TO BE ALIVE

    KOLESI IS THANKFUL TO BE ALIVE

    “The place where you lose the trail is not necessarily the place where it ends.”  – Tom Brown Jr Lezina Dankein, reporting for Action for Progress observes that “Kolesi Phiri, a 50-year-old second-hand shoe salesman was able to make a good living until the accident that deprived him of his ability to get around.”  Kolesi, the subject…

  • TRANSPORT COMPANY RECEIVES CONTAINER # 361

    TRANSPORT COMPANY RECEIVES CONTAINER # 361

    The threat of rain, and an early spring touch of cold, hung in the air as the tractor and 40-foot shipping container moved into position to receive the shipment for Malawi. The volunteers, those who would load the trailer, and those who had packed and prepared the pallets of goods, moved closer to the action…

  • THE RESULT OF WAR, BUT NOT IN MALAWI

    THE RESULT OF WAR, BUT NOT IN MALAWI

    “When he was eight years old evil men came into his home village. They beat him badly and threw him down a septic system. When he was finally rescued, he was taken to the hospital for care. During the treatment it was discovered that he had suffered major injuries to his spine, and there was…

  • MAN WITH A SIMPLE WOUND

    MAN WITH A SIMPLE WOUND

    “I had a business buying goats and selling goat meat. It was very successful, and I was able to have a good profit every day. I lacked nothing. Then one day as I walked home from a friend’s house a piece of wood broke the skin in my left ankle. Little did I know at…

  • DALITSO GETS THE AID SHE NEEDS

    DALITSO GETS THE AID SHE NEEDS

    Kasungu, Malawi… Childbirth always brings excitement in every home, community, or country. This is so because we believe that a child is a precious gift from God. Whenever a family is expecting a child, there are always preparations in terms of what is needed in the hospital when a woman is about to give birth,…

  • NURSES EXCITED WITH SUPPLIES

    NURSES EXCITED WITH SUPPLIES

    In the medical field in Malawi, there are few people, if any, who fully understand how desperate things become when there is an insufficient supply of needed medicines and medical supplies. Everything from an infected finger to a life-altering illness is harder to treat when there is insufficient equipment, supplies, or trained personnel. In the…

  • I CAN “SEE” THE PROBLEM

    I CAN “SEE” THE PROBLEM

    Mponela, Malawi … Reading about a problem someone is experiencing is one thing. Hearing about it is another. But to see it right in front of your eyes makes a far more indelible imprint on your mind and memory.  Dick Stephens recalls an event that took place over 20 years ago. It made such an impression…

  • CEREBRAL MALARIA AND MOBILITY

    CEREBRAL MALARIA AND MOBILITY

    Kachikho 2 Village, Lilongwe, Malawi … Malaria is serious in sub-Saharan Africa, but as serious as regular malaria is, cerebral malaria is even worse. The potential for death from this form of malaria is extremely high.  Without treatment, cerebral malaria is nearly 100% fatal. With proper treatment of antimalarials the mortality rate decreases, yet even…

  • TIYESE NYAMULABI REGAINS HER MOBILITY

    TIYESE NYAMULABI REGAINS HER MOBILITY

    She remembers it as though it were yesterday, and it is recalled with great emotional pain. It was the week everything in her life changed.  “It was 2013 when I developed a sore on my right leg,” Tiyese recounted. “Nothing we did made it better, and finally I had to go to the hospital. To my horror,…

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