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Stakeholder Relationships

The Synod of Livingstonia through its medical board, is the hospitals' proprietor and principal stakeholder. Along with our sister hospitals in Ekwendeni and Livingstonia, we are members of the Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM), an umbrella organization of mission hospitals which provide 45% of healthcare in Malawi. The Government of Malawi provides the bulk of salary monies for our staff, and we are active participants in district and regional health meetings with our government colleagues. In 2001, we hosted the District Health Officers meeting at Embangweni - the first CHAM unit to do so in the Northern region, and indicative of our good relationship with our government colleagues.

The Synod is in partnership with the Presbyterian Church USA, Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and the Church of Scotland. We receive prayer support, personnel and funding from each of these bodies. In October 2001, a choir from Embangweni Mission Station visited Ireland as an expression of our partnership in the gospel. Three members of the choir are staff members at the hospital (Lillian Gondwe, Wyson Tembo and Mary Kumwenda - see photo right) Embangweni Station Choir


With a population nearing ten million people, 85% of whom live in rural areas, Malawi is one of the world's poorest countries (GNP per capita = $170). Most of our patients are subsistence farmers from very poor families. High inflation rates in 2001 together with a poor harvest made the daily struggle for food / school fees / clothing even more difficult for most rural Malawians.

In 2001, the National Statistical Office published data from a comprehensive Malawi-wide household survey conducted in 2000. Some of the key national data is summarized in the table below.

Indicator Result
Fertility rate (number of children a woman delivers in her lifetime) 6.3
Percentage of 15-19 year olds who are mothers or now pregnant 33%
Percentage of married women using a modern family planning method 26%
Percentage of births assisted by a trained midwife 56%
Maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births) 1120
Percentage of children under 2 who are fully immunised 78%
Percentage of under 5's sleeping under a mosquito net
(malaria is the leading cause of death in children in Malawi)
Percentage of under 5's who are stunted (growing sub-normally because of poor nutrition) 49%
Under 5 mortality rate (number of children per 1000 live births who die by age 5) 189
Percentage of women with primary level or no education 57%
Percentage of men with primary level or no education 39%
Percentage of men who believe that condoms can protect against HIV 86%
Percentage of men who used a condom on last sexual encounter 14%
Estimated HIV prevalence in Malawi 15%

Source: Demographic Health Survey 2000, National Statistical Office, Lilongwe, Malawi.

Although some of these indicators are somewhat better than in previous surveys, the effects of the HIV epidemic are apparent. In particular, the extremely high maternal mortality ratio is largely attributed to HIV. Mothers are sicker, and there are fewer surviving trained health staff to treat them. It is estimated that a child born in Malawi today has a 50% lifetime risk of dying from AIDS.As the statistics above show, many Malawians know how to prevent HIV, but have not translated that knowledge into effective behaviour change. HIV/AIDS is undoubtedly the biggest challenge facing health personnel in Malawi. kids.jpg (10247 bytes)

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