The village of Embangweni is located in northern Malawi, about 80 kilometer south of Mzuzu. In Malawi, the birth mortality rate for mothers is 100 times higher compared to Western Europe. Every 1 in 150 births result in the death of the mother. Child mortality rates are also enormous. In Malawi, about 1 in 20 children dies during or just after birth (compared to 1 in 250 in Western Europe). In rural places such as Embangweni, these mortality rates for mother and child are even worse.
Embangweni Mission Hospital is one of the few hospitals in the North of Malawi. It has close ties with the church. Through the years, the hospital has been very significant. However, there appeared to be no money for regular maintenance and thus the hospital became increasingly broken-down. The children’s ward, waiting rooms and operating theaters looked dilapidated and good hygiene was hard to find. An integrated and multi-year approach would be the only way to turn the tide in terms of reducing maternal and infant mortality around birth.
Role of MMWT
Malawi Mission Work Team Foundation (MMWT) has extensive experience in renovating and modernizing outdated hospitals especially in Africa. As early as 2017, MMWT has been involved with Embangweni Mission Hospital. Always in close consultation with the hospital’s management team, priorities have been set.
First, in 2018-2019, the pediatric ward was completely renovated. Then, from 2020-2022, the MMWT took on the renovation of the operating rooms. Due to corona, that process took longer than anticipated, but by the end of 2022, completion took place. In parallel with the renovation, significant investments have also been made in recent years to build the capacity of hospital staff. In summary, the following were realized during the project period 2020-2022:
The short-term goal is a well-run hospital with sufficient facilities to provide local people with access to much-needed health care. Annually, more than 50.000 people will benefit from this hospital! Through better facilities, by strongly focusing on better hygiene and training of hospital staff, we expect that in the longer term maternal and child mortality can be drastically reduced.
Special side effect – which was not foreseen beforehand! – is also that Embangweni Hospital has already become the preferred training site for junior doctors. In this way, Embangweni is gaining a pioneering role in its network towards other clinics and hospitals in Northern Malawi!
‘Your contribution has made a huge difference in this world from the rural area perspective.’ – Dr. Kondwangi Zghambo, Medical director Embangweni Hospital
Importantly, the operating costs of the hospital are already covered. This project is solely about raising donations to enable one-time capital-intensive investments. MMWT Foundation wants to provide just that with its donors. The total project cost was approximately $226,000. MMWT received over $108,000 in donations through its network. MissionInvest USA has been successful in raising donations for $ 25,000 and MissionInvest the Netherlands the remaining part of $ 93,000.
‘As Malawi Mission Work Team’s projects in Malawi became more and more substantial, the need for a larger network of donors and funds grew. Missioninvest has already been able to do a lot for MMWT in this respect. Within his extensive network, Wim Hasselman has brought MMWT into contact with the right and committed donors and funds. The cooperation with MissionInvest proved to be the right match. Together with Embangweni Hospital, MMWT looks to the future with hope. A future in which the patients in poor Malawi can receive better care’ – MMWT board