Malawi has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios globally, averaging 574 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births (Source). In comparison, maternal mortality ratios in North America average 26.4 in the United States and 7.3 in Canada per 100,000 births (Source).
Systematic poverty in Malawi has obviated maternal health, which continues to have long-tern effects on the country’s healthcare system.
To begin to address this inequality, we’re proud to partner with Plan International, an organization committed to working with children, families, and communities to bring about positive change in Malawi.
Corporate Social Responsibility at Prophix
Sally, a Product Success Consultant, nominated Plan International as part of the Prophix’s quarterly call for charitable nominations.
After an employee voting period, Plan International was selected to receive a $50,000 donation as part of the Prophix’s ongoing commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
In partnership with Plan International, Global Affairs Canada also matched Prophix’s $50,000 donation 4:1. This $250,000 gift will ensure adolescent girls, mothers, and babies in Malawi can access the care they need in critical moments.
Nicknamed the “Warm Heart of Africa,” Malawi is home to 18.6 million people and a variety of flora and fauna including elephants, hippos, monkeys, and big cats. Malawi’s primary industry is agriculture with 85% of the population living in rural areas.
An average of 50% of Malawi’s population lives in extreme poverty and the nation continues to struggle with a critical shortage of healthcare workers, a high disease burden, food insecurity, HIV/AIDs, and rising poverty.
Since 1994, Plan International has been working in Malawi to address the structural and root causes of poverty with a lens to sustainable practices, as well as maternal and child health.
The Healthcare System in Malawi
Transportation and infrastructure are two of the biggest barriers to healthcare for children and their families in Malawi.
In the rural areas of Chitipa and Kasungu, pregnancy has its risks. In most communities, no one has expertise in potential pregnancy complications and if issues arise, the closest healthcare facility is several kilometers away.
With the inability to travel great distances for care, and no ambulances available to help, people suffer from easily treatable conditions simply because they lie beyond the reach of accessible healthcare.
With regards to infrastructure, if an expectant mother is able to make the journey to the nearest healthcare facility, structural issues, a lack of staff and equipment, and sanitation all remain barriers to safe and equitable healthcare.
With over 80 years of experience in the non-profit sector, Plan International has developed a comprehensive and systematic plan to advance healthcare for women in Malawi with Prophix’s help.
Plan International and Prophix
Our gift will have a tangible impact on two projects that are a part of Plan International’s InPATH Project: Integrated Pathways for Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.
Project #1 – Ambulance ($25,000)
An ambulance will provide transportation and medical equipment for mothers in rural areas including:
- An adjustable wheeled stretcher
- Portable oxygen cylinder and accessories
- Intravenous infusion fluids and equipment
- Heat resistant emergency box
This vehicle and equipment will improve the delivery of essential health services to mothers, pregnant women, newborns, and children under the age of five.
Project #2 – Community Investment ($25,000)
Health facilities in Chitipa and Kasungu districts (2 hospitals and 37 health centers) will benefit from maintenance and renovations to their water, sanitation, hygiene, and medical waste management systems, which will include:
- Improved water supply system and handwashing stations that meet environmental standards
- Facility repairs and renovations
- The creation of a Health Center Advisory Committee to establish and/or strengthen their role in improving gender-responsive services
- Development and implementation of mobile birth registration systems
Global Affairs Canada and Plan International will use the remaining funds (~$200,000) to develop and deliver local-level training for skilled health personnel, as well as to strengthen local governance structures and mechanisms for citizen engagement.
Throughout this three- and half-year project, Plan International anticipates that 364,000 babies will be registered at birth through their mobile birth registration unit.
The InPATH project will also contribute to saving the lives of women and children, with a total of 373,000 direct beneficiaries and over 1 million indirect beneficiaries.
How to Get Involved
If you’d like to learn more about Plan International, visit https://plan-international.org/