In Malawi, high infant and under-five mortality rates are a big concern. The leading causes of illness and death include neonatal causes, malaria, acute respiratory infections, diarrhea and malnutrition—all largely preventable and/or curable.
Unfortunately, addressing these health problems is extremely difficult due to a lack of human and other resources. The Ministry of Health is understaffed, with 40% of available health care positions vacant. It’s estimated that there is only 1 physician for every 100,000 people; and only 26 for every 100,000 people. High staff mortality due to HIV and AIDS serves to further undermine an already shaky health care system. Contributing to this burden, health facilities are inadequate and there is a general shortage of drugs, and limited access to adequate sanitation and safe water—factors that combine to create a precarious situation for children.
What We Do
- We are working with the Ministry of Health to train community health workers to assess, classify, and treat/refer sick children with signs of malaria, pneumonia and or diarrhea
- We are training local Ministry of Health partners to support, supply, and supervise community health workers
- We are helping educate families to adopt healthy behaviours, recognize signs of illness and seek care promptly.
Our programs in Malawi span six districts in the country—some of the most remote communities—and reaches a total population of 893,044 of which 151,817 children are under the age of five. In 2010, Save the Children trained 776 community health workers and 280 supervisors and a total of 88,885 cases of malaria and pneumonia were treated.
How You Can Help
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