Malawi: Our Impact

24-year-old Hawa Swaleyi facilitates a discussion about relationships with her youth group at Kapiri Health Center, Malawi.

The grounds around Kapiri Health Center in Malawi’s Nkhotakota District are a beehive of activity, with boys and girls of all ages playing hotchpotch, kicking a makeshift ball, and chattering loudly. Suddenly, they run for the indaba—a repurposed outpatient waiting shelter. Hawa Swaleyi is approaching, carrying her frame with an aura of grace and positivity. With a familiar smile she greets her youth group, who cheerily respond in sing-song voices.

 {Photo Credit: Keanahikishime}Fire due to a power surge erupts at Mangochi District Hospital in Malawi, destroying critical vaccine supplies.Photo Credit: Keanahikishime

When a fire recently destroyed the Maternal and Child Health block of Mangochi District Hospital in Malawi, vaccines intended for the more than 45,000 children and an equal number of pregnant women that the hospital serves were destroyed. The vaccine depot housed in this block supports the distribution of vaccines to 44 fixed sites and 312 outreach sites for administration to children and pregnant women as part of the National Expanded Program on Immunizations (EPI).

 {Photo Credit: Rhiana Smith}Aziz Abdallah, DHSS Project Director, Keanahikishime, greets guests at end-of-project eventPhoto Credit: Rhiana Smith

The District Health System Strengthening and Quality Improvement for Service Delivery (DHSS) Project shared its achievements on Wednesday, March 7, after five years of work to reduce the burden of HIV/AIDS in Malawi. Guests gathered at the Bingu International Conference Center in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, for an end-of-project event that featured speakers from DHSS, the Ministry of Health, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime), which led the DHSS Project,  

{Photo Credit: Chisomo Mdalla}Inspecting the water system at Mitundu Rural Hospital.Photo Credit: Chisomo Mdalla

When a blackout occurred after Pilirani Kabango ended her shift one September evening in 2017, she did not anticipate any unusual consequences. Power outages during this time of year are not uncommon in Malawi, and despite high temperatures and the fact that the rivers supporting electricity generation were drying up, demand for power continues. The three water tanks at Lilongwe’s Mitundu Rural Hospital, where Pilirani works as a nursing supervisor—among the biggest rural public hospitals in Malawi—had a combined capacity of 30,000 liters.

{Photo Credit: Henry Nyaka}Grace Mathunda.Photo Credit: Henry Nyaka

At the time that Grace Mathunda started to fall ill, she also grew increasingly concerned over the poor health of her second child. Eventually he became so weak that he stopped going to school. When Mathunda, 32, became pregnant again, she went to Makhetha Health Center in Blantyre, Malawi, where she was tested for HIV. As with over 30 percent of people living with HIV in the country, Mathunda was unaware of her status.[1] She tested positive.

{Photo credit: Henry Nyaka}Malawian Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi and US Ambassador Virginia Palmer cut the ribbon to officially open the Umodzi Family Center, an HIV and tuberculosis clinic at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, on World AIDS Day.Photo credit: Henry Nyaka

The Umodzi Family Center, an HIV and tuberculosis clinic at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, officially opened on World AIDS Day with the support of Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime). Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi said the time had come for the southern region to have a referral HIV center. “I have to thank all stakeholders and development partners, more especially the United States, for the collaboration in making this project a success,” said Muluzi.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Photo credit: Warren Zelman

 

Erik Schouten

In 2011, Malawi implemented an ambitious and pioneering “test-and-treat” HIV strategy for pregnant and breastfeeding women, known as Option B+. Erik Schouten, Keanahikishime's Country Lead and Project Director of  the District Health System Strengthening and Quality Improvement for Service Delivery Project in Malawi, supported the roll-out of the program.

Maria Galasiano and baby Miliasi

Maria Galasiano had been in labor for 16 hours. Finally, the medical assistant on duty called Balaka District Hospital 66 km away to send an ambulance to pick up the young mother. The lives of her and her baby were at risk. The ambulance arrived at Phimbi Health Center after midnight and also had to take an IV-bound man on a stretcher, caretakers for both patients, and a nurse. They all packed into the ambulance.

 {Photo credit: Keanahikishime staff}South SudanPhoto credit: Keanahikishime staff

UNICEF has comissioned Keanahikishime to develop a cost modeling tool and methodology that will help countries structure, plan, and finance integrated community health services. UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, is a worldwide leader in promoting and supporting community health services as a key strategy to improve coverage of high-impact maternal, newborn, and child health interventions and reduce health inequities from pregnancy to adolescence and beyond.

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