On a bright Thursday morning some fifty or so women gather at Machinga District Hospital in Southern Malawi for a weekly ritual. They bring their children whose ages range from about a year to four years old. In front of the room two hospital staff are attending to the children- checking charts, doing tests and sending them off for appropriate assistance, medication or supplies.
At the northern tip of the country, and off the shores of lake Malawi, lies Karonga district. One of Malawi’s largest border posts, Songwe border, lies in this district. Every year, thousands of travelers, traders, refugees and migrants trickle into the country through this border. Making it an area prone to health epidemics. In 2018, when Ebola broke out in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, the Karonga District Health Office (DHO) was put on alert
There was a time when 51-year-old tomato farmer, Philemon Kanema Banda, used to care about the perceptions of his community on the role of men in raising children. The unwritten rules and norms on what was expected of men and women used to bother Philemon a lot.
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.
Soft-spoken Jausa Silika, 38, is someone every ambitious girl child looks up to in Mkata Village, T/A Chowe in Mangochi. Trained as community nursing and midwife, she helps mothers deliver 70 live babies in a month at Malombe Health Centre, located 41 kilometres East of Mangochi Town.
The area of Havala at Chisi in Zomba district suffered flood disaster that did not only wash away homes of residents, it also washed away dreams, hopes and aspirations of children of the area most of whom go to Havala Primary School.
William Lifa is a 19-year-old boy from M’bawa Village in Balaka. He’s a happy boy, with a contagious smile. He also has a lot to smile about. He was lucky enough to get a visit from The Minister of Gender, Mary Navicha who came to congratulate him on his selection to University after passing his Malawi Secondary Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations with 10 points.
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.
Ibrahim Karim has lived all his life in a small village in Machinga District, Southern Malawi. The farthest he has been from home is about 54 km away from his village, to a town within Machinga. His dream is to travel, see more of his country, more of the world.
In the eastern part of Malawi, about a 100km north of the commercial city of Blantyre lies Machinga district. It borders Mozambique to the east and is home to just over 600,000 people.