Malawi is a small landlocked country located on the shores of the 3rd largest lake in Africa.
Population: 18 million
Main languages: English and Chichewa
Main exports: Tobacco: 59% Tea: 7.9% Sugar: 8%
Lake: 585km long, 80km wide
Fish: highest diversity of fresh water fish in one lake with over 1000 species
Highest mountain: Mulange
According to World Health Organization Report, Malawi health system ranks number 185 out of 190. Malawi has been given the lowest ranking on health systems among countries which are not affected by civil wars, yet the medical services delivered still rank lower than some war torn countries. The common medications found in hospital pharmacies in the West are rarely available locally. These include treatment for heart diseases or cancer.
In Malawi’s health profile from May 2013, the World Health Organization reported that there were only .2 physicians per 10,000 population and 3.4 nurses or midwives per 10,000 population. Malawi’s shortage of healthcare personnel is the most severe in this region of Southern Africa. Additionally, the minimal body of health workers are not evenly distributed in urban and rural areas.
Limited access to health services in Malawi means only 46% of people live within a 5 km radius. Despite most public health services being free for the patients, there are often costs associated with transportation to and from a facility.
*all statistics are provided by the ministry of environmental health of Malawi