Access to healthcare

Although national health services in Malawi are generally free of charge at the point of delivery, they can often only provide a very basic level of care. For those living in rural areas, the nearest health centre could be up to 10km away along rough dirt roads, understaffed and sometimes lacking in even the most common drugs and medical supplies. These long journeys are particularly hazardous at night in the large swathes of the country with no electricity and patients attending these centres after dark, including women in labour, are routinely expected to provide their own candles or kerosene lamps for use when they arrive.

Latest estimates suggest that there are only about 230 fully qualified doctors in Malawi, serving a population of around 20.4 million; roughly one doctor for every 88,300 people. This results in the hospitals being mainly staffed by Clinical Officers trained for a minimum of four years, Medical Assistants trained for a minimum of three years, and nurses. Many of the more serious or complex medical conditions simply cannot be diagnosed or treated and palliative care is extremely limited.

Health Passports are issued to all children at birth and used to record their medical history.

The potentially fatal combination of food poverty and nutrient deficiencies weakens the immune systems of the poorest families and has resulted in widespread malnutrition. The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) estimates that 37% of Malawian children are stunted, 63% are anaemic and one in ten children is born with a low birth rate. The majority of child deaths are due to preventable diseases, primarily malaria and pneumonia.

Around a million Malawians are thought to be HIV positive and AIDS is the leading cause of death in adults, leaving many parents unable to work and over 470,000 orphans living with their grandparents or struggling to support themselves in particularly vulnerable child-headed households.

Charitable status

ChildCare Malawi is unable to register with the Charity Commission because our annual income is less than £5,000. However, we are registered as

a Small Charity with HMRC, which entitles us to claim Gift Aid on eligible donations.

Picture credits

All images are copyright of

their owners and must not be used for any reason without prior written authorisation.

Row 1  © Donna Murray Photography.

Row 2  © jamesdeanphoto.

Row 3 left © Naomi Chinkhuntha.

Row 3 right © jamesdeanphoto.

Row 4 © Donna Murray Photography.

Row 5 © Donna Murray Photography.


Copyright © 2024 ChildCare Malawi. All rights reserved.

Created by Beechurst Designs.