Malawi Medical Life Center | Mzuzu , Malawi

UPDATE: The Medical Life Center was moved to Kande Beach area and was successfully turned over to our local partners, LSADO, in late 2018.  They continue to run the Medical Life Center in a self-sufficient manner.

Project Goal: Medical Life Center to provide primary care and cervical cancer screening/treating

Mission

The WCF Malawi Life Center, launched in 2016, is a community medical center that provides affordable health and wellness to members of impoverished and disadvantaged communities in partnership with Life Skill Awareness Development Organization, an indigenous, local non-profit and Victory Christian Temple.

The Life Center provides the following Medical Services to the community:

Medical Services

  • Provide primary medical care – such as women's health issues, pediatrics, infectious disease (e.g. Malaria) treatment, chronic illness management and checkups.
  • Provide cervical cancer screening and cryotherapy treatment
  • Healthcare trainings for the community.
  • Provide continuing education seminars for regional healthcare staff by our visiting medical professionals.

Background

Malawi is ranked among the poorest countries in the world.  Economic instability and environmental disasters such as famine, annual droughts and flooding have kept the majority of the nation in impoverished conditions and have also contributed to the development of major public health problems.

In Malawi 10.6% of the population aged 15-49 years is living with HIV/AIDS.  Malaria accounts for about 34% of all outpatient visits, about 40% of all hospitalization of children under five years old and 40% of all hospital deaths. 

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDS) are on the increase. It is estimated that 33% of adults aged 25-64 have hypertension and 5.6% are diabetic. These chronic illnesses are typically undiagnosed and untreated.  Autoimmune disease care such as for Type 1 Diabetes has very little support. About 5,000 new cases of cancer are registered annually. 

Maternal mortality is still among the highest in Africa. Obstetric complications contribute significantly to maternal deaths. Other indirect causes include delays in seeking care, poor referral system, and lack of appropriate drugs, equipment and staff capacity. 

The overall healthcare needs in Malawi are overwhelming, but the facilities and number of workers to provide healthcare services are very poor. According to the WHO, for every doctor in Malawi, there are 50,000 people.  Hospitals and clinics are finding it very difficult to employ enough trained medical staff.  

Public hospitals were once free for patients, but admission fees are now being required and they lack basic equipment and face chronic inadequate supplies of medicine.  In the past few years, government hospitals frequently ran out of medicines.

The northern region of Malawi has the least resources of all the regions of Malawi.  It is a five hour drive from the political capital of Lilongwe located in the middle of the country and even further away from the economic capital of Blantyre located in the south.  The WCF Medical Life Center is located in this northern region of Malawi to help with this overall healthcare crisis.

WCF History in Malawi

WCF has conducted Mobile Medical and Dental Clinics in partnership with VCT since 2007 and has seen more than 4,500 registered patients in Mzuzu and Kande near Lake Malawi.  Since the 2016 launch, the Malawi Life Center has seen 2,000 patients.  Countless more have received healthcare teaching and medical care packages consisting of a de-worming pill and vitamins.