Health & Nutrition in Malawi
Health Committees, which are made up of epicenter partners, operate medical programs that provide maternal care, disease-prevention, and HIV/AIDS services.
The Health Committee assists in operating the health clinic (including a delivery room, consultation rooms, pharmacy and toilets). The clinic typically tracks child and maternal health, provides malaria and tuberculosis prevention and treatment, offers nutrition education, administers medications and supplies and coordinates with government and local agencies to host medical staff.
All of Malawi’s epicenters have health clinics staffed by trained healthcare workers. Among the epicenters, there are five nurses in total, 50 government-paid healthcare providers and 38 community health volunteers. Five are level-one health clinics, which offer under-five treatments as well as disease diagnosis, one is maternity only, one is level-two, which offers under-five treatments, maternity services and disease diagnosis and treatment. All provide vaccinations for tuberculosis and measles.
Six of the epicenters provide malnutrition counseling and treatment and diarrhea and re-hydration treatments and all offer height and weight tracking for children.
All of the epicenters distribute bed nets, which have been shown to be effective in preventing malaria. Five offer malaria testing and six offer malaria treatment.
All offer family planning, prenatal care and postnatal care. The family planning program is built upon the idea that if births are spaced out, women can work more, save and become more financially independent. Additionally, it works to encourage safe practices which can contribute to the decrease of HIV/AIDS. All epicenters have HIV/AIDS testing, counseling, and seven distribute condoms – five have microfinance for people living with AIDS and one offers antiretroviral drugs.
The Hunger Project trains specialized volunteer “HIV animators” in each epicenter who conduct workshops that engage both women and men in learning the facts of HIV/AIDS and the role of gender inequality in fueling the pandemic. The HIV animators work with the epicenter Health Committee in mobilizing the entire population to halt the spread of HIV.
Jali Epicenter has a dormitory for patient’s families to stay, and six of the epicenters have a dispensary or pharmacy of some type.