When she got the message through her pastor at church one Saturday morning, Elida Ntanga, 37, of Kunenekude village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kanduku, planned not to miss the Child Health Days campaign which Mwanza District was planning to conduct. This was to ensure that her 2-year-old baby, Brian, benefits from the services to be offered at Kunenekude Health Centre.
Agness Nyirongo is a 62-year-old grandmother. She shares her two-roomed grass thatched house in Mlongoti village, Rumphi District in northern Malawi with two of her children, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Located just a few kilometres from the main town, Mlongoti is a poor village full of small houses. Just like Agness’ family, most of the families in this village earn a living from subsistence farming.
Bvumbwe Health Centre is located along the M2 Road in Thyolo district, some 23 kilometres from Blantyre. The first thing one notices once inside the health facility is people sitting or sleeping on the lawn close to the health centre’s main gate. Then one is hit by the sounds of a hospital—crying babies afraid of needles.
Every 1-7 August, the world commemorates World Breastfeeding Week. The theme for this year’s week is “empower parents, enable breastfeeding”. Breastfeeding is a vital part of providing every child with the healthiest start to life.
Patson Kadyankoni, 34, dreamed of becoming a reverend when he was a child. As he finished his secondary school, he pivoted towards nursing instead. Now, seated in the consultation room at Mtakataka Health Centre, he is a trusted nurse midwife. Dressed in a neat white nursing suit, he attends to pregnant and new mothers every day, helping keep them healthy and save lives.
The sound of a bell rings out to announce that the school day has just finished at Kathebwe Primary School. It’s a hot, sunny day. Children run outside and start to disperse. Some go home to nearby villages, while others start kicking a ball around on the school field. A third group joins their mothers and younger siblings, who are sitting with a hundred or more flood victims in the shade of a large tree. Since the heavy rains and floods of early March, this school has doubled as an evacuation centre.
Beatrice Harold and her newborn daughter have been living in a classroom at their local primary school ever since flood waters swept through southern Malawi three weeks ago
It is mid-morning in Mangumba village in Zomba, Southern Malawi, and Neverson Nazombe’s day is off to a good start. An hour before, he set up a health clinic under a tree and asked mothers from the surrounding houses to join him with their children, under the age of five. About 20 women came.
“I not only communicate key messages, but also ask mothers and fathers to give their views on issues which might need explanation,” said Madzifewe, who works at Nyanthepa Community Radio, which is supported by UNICEF.
In the middle of a muddy field next to a reservoir in Kasungu District, a team of scientists are hard at work. Boxes of equipment lie scattered around a patch of dry ground, where Lancaster University’s Michelle Stanton programmes an automated drone flight into a laptop perched on a metal box. With a high-pitched whirr of rotor blades, the drone takes off and starts following the shoreline, taking photos as it goes.