Malawi: Great progress in ten years according to local people in Monkey Bay

-successful seminar held by ICEIDA and Reykjavik University

9.11.2009

5.11.2009

Health Care in Monkey Bay has made great progress according to local people who consider the community hospital to provide almost as good service as the district hospital in Mangochi. At a seminar, held by ICEIDA and Reykjavik University 3rd November, ICEIDA´s health project in Malawi was the subject for discussion.

During the seminar, Geir Gunnlaugsson, professor at Reykjavik University and Jónína Einarsdóttir, professor at the University of Iceland introduced the findings of the research they carried out in Monkey Bay in April this year. “If the locals could wish for something it would be for the Monkey Bay Community Hospital to be strengthened even more, more state-run health clinics established to avoid arrival-fees, medicine to be available without charge and transport improved so sick people could have better access to the service,” Jónína Einarsdóttir said at the seminar.

Jónína and Geir both said that better transport must be considered and that it is important to develop supervision for the ambulance services. Outreach service must also be increased and facilities in the villages improved. “New rules on TBAs set by the Ministry of Health must be responded to and in particular the facilities of women waiting to give birth must be improved. It is important to support free health services for everyone,” they said.

Last decade, ICEIDA has cooperated with the health authorities in Malawi in strengthening Health care in the Monkey Bay area in Mangochi district in the southern part of the country. Local inhabitants are just over 110,000. ICEIDA support has included infrastructure development by building a community hospital where miscellaneous services are available at out- and inpatient departments. The health clinic in Nankumba has also been improved and personnel retrained. Outreach services have also been strengthened in the villages in the area with better access of personnel to motorcycles and ambulance, to name a few.

The objective of Geir´s and Jónína´s research was to look at the status of the health services in the Monkey Bay area and the changes in the services since the cooperation began. Another objective was to propose health indicators so ICEIDAs support to the Monkey Bay Health Zone can be measured when the support ends, in December 2011. They interviewed over 140 individuals with the assistance of an interpreter.