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

  • 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,…

  • THE NEED FOR SUPPLIES

    THE NEED FOR SUPPLIES

    It does little good to suggest a person should fish rather than being handed the fish if there are no resources for a fishing pole, line and sinker, bait, and a lake or pond with fish. In many cases, the intense poverty of Malawi makes it impossible to subscribe to more modern methods when they…

  • THIRTEEN IS NOT AN UNLUCKY NUMBER

    THIRTEEN IS NOT AN UNLUCKY NUMBER

    Lebanon, Indiana … Nearing the end of the year three shipments of supplies were making their way to Malawi. For some people the number 13 signals bad luck. But for the people of Malawi, this number will be seen as a blessing from God.  Thanks to Kristy Scott and the staff and contributors at World Emergency…

  • HELP SPRINGS UP UNEXPECTEDLY

    HELP SPRINGS UP UNEXPECTEDLY

    Adams County, Ohio … It seems help often materializes just when it is needed. This was certainly the case after a recent trip to Malawi uncovered a desperate need in one of the hospitals.  The “desperate need” part is not unusual. When working in one of the poorest nations on earth almost everything is in short…

  • He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

    He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

    “They might be brothers, or perhaps father and son, or maybe just neighbors in a nearby village. Regardless of their relationship, the view of a person carrying another reminded me of the song, “He ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.”  “As I watched them approach the row of mobility units, I knew the struggles in his past…

  • LIVES ARE BEING TRANSFORMED

    LIVES ARE BEING TRANSFORMED

    Mchinji District, Malawi … When one loses their home, business, possessions, and livelihood to a natural catastrophe such as Cyclone Freddy, people often do not notice, or in the pain of loss overlook, what has happened to those with mobility issues. For many, this is what happened in March of this year when the longest-running…

  • BABY PACKS – FILLING NEEDS, REMOVING FEAR

    BABY PACKS – FILLING NEEDS, REMOVING FEAR

    Kabudula Community Hospital, Lilongwe District, Malawi … For expectant mothers in Malawi the required items they must bring to the hospital at the time of their delivery can be out of reach to locate or even purchase. The Action for Progress and Malawi Project teams had arrived that morning to donate the supplies that expectant…

  • SO MANY LIKE YOBU

    SO MANY LIKE YOBU

    The school year had just started. Children running, laughing, playing, sharing, learning. But along with the beginning of school had come the rains, the deluge that sweeps over Malawi every year.  Heavy rains, constant rain, rain coming down in torrents for hours. It is an unbearable time of year for those who must crawl on…

Scroll to Top