Challenges in Healthcare
The amount of people living with HIV/AIDS in Malawi is still devastatingly high. The epidemic exacerbates problems in nearly every sector, adding strain on everything from education and healthcare systems to national defense. Women are the largest demographic infected at around 60%, but the disease also directly and indirectly affects children.
- 12% of Malawians (900,000) are living with HIV/AIDS
- An estimated 111,510 children in Malawi are living with HIV
- 600,000 children are orphaned by AIDS every year
- 80,000 people die of AIDS annually
Malaria continues to be the leading cause of mortality in Malawi. Children are very susceptible to the disease because their immune systems are still developing. Malaria causes dangerously high fevers and other severe flu-like symptoms. The illness can lead to anemia, jaundice, kidney failure, coma and death. It has been linked with developmental disorders and malnutrition in children.
- Malaria is responsible for 40% of all hospital deaths
- Malaria causes 40% of all hospitalizations of children under five
Maternity and Childhood Challenges
Malawi remains a difficult place for a mother and child. Maternal Mortality is still among the highest in Africa and infant mortality remains overwhelmingly high. Sadly, the problems do not end after childbirth as chronic malnutrition runs rampant.
- Only 54% of women deliver in health facilities
- The Maternal Mortality ratio is 984 out of 100,000 live births
- The Infant Mortality ratio is 86.01 for every 1,000 births
- 48% of children in Malawi are chronically malnourished
Human Resources Crisis
Although the government allocates almost 13% of its GDP to healthcare, this only amounts to $20 per person. Malawi’s anemic healthcare budget leaves little money for the salaries of healthcare professionals, resulting in a “Brain Drain”. The government of Malawi is working hard to keep doctors in the country, but despite their efforts the healthcare system is perilously understaffed.
- In 2000 Malawi saw 59% of its Malawi-born doctors practice outside the country
- There are only 2 physicians and 59 nurses for every 100,000 people