Seed Global Health (Seed) has worked in Malawi since 2013 to train doctors, nurses, and midwives, in close collaboration with the government and our in-country partners, so as to ensure access to high-quality care.
The country has made significant progress towards human development and improving individual health outcomes. Malawi is one of the few sub-Saharan African countries that achieved Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4) for child survival by 2015, for example. Still, critical gaps remain in meeting the growing health needs of the country’s population and in ensuring the delivery of essential health services.
Our goals and priorities in Malawi are driven by our vision and critically, by the needs of the country, partner institutions, and communities we serve. Based on our expertise, previous experience in Malawi, and the government’s health priorities, Seed supports three key focus areas in the country:
1. Community Health
Community health is critical to improving the health and well-being of populations in Malawi and elsewhere. In Malawi, the specialty contributed to significant improvements in health outcomes, particularly in the achievement of MDG 4. However, the country’s community health system is unable to meet the demands of its mostly rural populations. At the heart of its challenges, Malawi faces a paucity of skilled health professionals. To meet the diverse health needs of the country, it is essential to train and recruit the full range of cadres that can provide crucial services to Malawians at all district levels.
2. Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (MNCH)
Despite advances Malawi has made, maternal, newborn, and child mortality remain high. For example, one in 16 children dies before his or her fifth birthday, two-thirds of these deaths occur during infancy. There remains a high rate of perinatal mortality attributed to persistently low rates of antenatal care, poor quality of care during labor, and lack of postnatal care. There is a great need to build the capacity of doctors, nurses, midwives, and specialists to further improve outcomes and reduce both maternal and child mortality.
3. Mental Health
Mental health is a critical issue that needs to be addressed at all levels of Malawi’s health system and it is a priority of the government. To date, however, mental health services have not been adequately integrated into primary health care. Stigma, lack of knowledge, and a scarcity of mental health professionals limits access to much-needed services. Very few institutions have the ability to help train specialized mental health professionals. Additionally, general health workers are most often not equipped to deal with mental health issues. Service delivery can improve through the increased training of mental health workers and integration of mental health diagnosis, prevention, and management skills into the training of all cadres of the workforce, particularly at the primary level so that more of the population can be assisted.
Seed’s model is built around the basic but essential belief that long term sustainable partnerships, rather that temporary gap-filling measures, deliver more lasting and meaningful improvements in a country’s health ecosystem. We believe in the power of people to effect and sustain changes in health education, delivery of care, and health systems. As such, we are intentionally focused on human resource for health capacity-building at the individual, institutional, and national level through sustained collaborative engagement with our partners.
We currently work with the partners below to build out complete and strong health workforce teams that can provide their patients with high-quality care and improve health outcomes across Malawi.
Kamuzu College of Nursing, Faculty of Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health Nursing, Department of Midwifery and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital
Seed works with Kamuzu College of Nursing, in collaboration with Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, to:
- Institute the first midwifery-led ward in Malawi to improve the quality of clinical education and women-centred practice
- Create an improved clinical teaching and learning environment for midwifery students that promotes holistic and respectful maternity care to reduce the theory to practice gap
- Create a midwifery-led birth environment where faculty and practicing midwives are able to model, teach, and practice respectful maternity care
Kamuzu College of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Department of Child Health
Seed partners with Kamuzu College of Nursing’s Department of Child Health to:
- Establish an accredited child critical care nursing subspecialty at the graduate level
University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health
Seed and the College of Medicine, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health seek to strengthen the quality of undergraduate and postgraduate pediatric training by:
- Establishing a pediatric residency training program at the College of Medicine, Lilongwe Campus
- Building capacity for faculty to effectively train undergraduate and postgraduate students
- Promoting and mentoring students to improve attitudes and practices in the clinical setting
University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Seed partners with College of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology to:
- Achieve a critical mass of practice ready obstetrics and gynaecology specialists to deliver responsive, respectful, and dignified care to women and newborns
- Establish and promote a student-centered learning environment that integrates skills/simulation and e-learning platforms
- Ensure that faculty and students translate responsive and respectful maternity care theory into practice in the clinical setting
University of Malawi, College of Medicine, School of Public Health & Family Medicine, Department of Family Medicine
Seed partners with the College of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine to:
- Strengthen access to care and quality of health services through educating and training family medicine specialists
- Support the department’s goal of placing a minimum of two family medicine doctors at each district hospital in Malawi