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Malawi is a landlocked nation in the east Africa; it is boarded by Tanzania to the north and Zambia on the North West, it is therefore found below the brant line in the southern hemisphere, subsequently showing that it’s an LEDC however there are many areas in Malawi that are LLEDC. Malawi is classed as one of the poorest country in the world having low numbers of economic development with an annual income per person of only US$170. The vast majority of the population live in the rural areas as there are only 14% of urban areas in Malawi. Malawi is an example of an area with low levels of development and large rural areas and therefore relies on agriculture for its economic growth. The…show more content…
Malawi lies within the Great African Rift Valley system. On the east side of the country is Lake Malawi, the twelfth largest freshwater lake in the world. The lake is 568 km long and about 1,500 ft above sea level. It is the main tourist attraction in the country and is set among rolling hills. Malawi’s terrain and climate are extremely varied. It differs from cool in the highlands to warm around Lake Malawi with land from 35 m to over 3000m including low plains, rolling hills and mountains. The rainfall is very high in winter months (May to July) and very low in the summer months with temperatures that are very high encouraging high rates of evapro-transpiration and consequently very dry soil and a low water table. In some occasions there have been serials of droughts and soil moisture deficit. These conditions are not conductive to plant growth and in winter there’s high input of rain in some conditions causing flooding. These tropical and sub-tropical climatic changes are having negative impacts on the production in agriculture and the environment. The levels of development in Malawi are also at stake as the weather conditions directly affect the productivity. There are several environmental problems that have been a real issue in Malawi, a few are stated below:
* Increase in soil
By Karen Walrond. This post originally appeared on her blog, Chookooloonks.
Karen recently traveled to Malawi with ONE Girls and Women and Heifer International to learn about the challenges and successes in sub-Saharan Africa and to see firsthand how strong African leadership and smart donor investments help fight poverty and preventable disease.
On our trip to Malawi, my travel companions and I visited two health care facilities. I’m not going to lie: visiting clinics is my least favorite thing to do — it’s tough seeing people, especially children, who are ailing. And I was particularly nervous about this trip, since health statistics for Malawi are bleak: life expectancy in Malawi is one of the lowest in the world, at 60 years, owing primarily to the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS, but also malaria, tuberculosis, and malnutrition. Preventable causes such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, anemia, malnutrition and neonatal complications constitute 70% of child deaths. Making things worse, poor health is exacerbated by Malawi’s land-locked geography, rendering health care services and safe drinking water and sanitation scarcely accessible. There are few hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses or health care workers, with only 1.9 physicians available for every 100,000 people. And of course, with only 9% of the residents of Malawi having access to electricity, the hospitals and clinics are often at the mercy of the already overtaxed power grid as well.
This is Christopher Kandionamaso, a nurse and programme director at the health care facilities we visited, who gave us our tour.
Monkey Bay Community Hospital
But there is good news.
Thanks to The Global Fund, an international financing organization which aims to fight, prevent and treat tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS, Malawi has received nearly $900 million since 2003 to fight disease and strengthen health systems. The Global Fund has administered nearly 7 million bed nets in Malawi to prevent malaria, in addition to securing Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART) for 420,000 infected by the AIDS virus. In addition, through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a USAID-implemented program launched in 2006 in Malawi, in 2014 alone USAID provided testing for more than 1.1 million Malawians, including more than 350,000 pregnant women. USAID started 62,000 HIV-positive patients on ART, including 27,000 pregnant women, and kept 217,000 HIV-positive patients on ART at USAID-supported health facilities.
There is, of course, a lot of work to do: with the clinics often overcrowded (requiring patients to share beds, sometimes), medicine shortages and frequent power outages, there’s still a long way to go. But despite this, everywhere we turned, we saw dedication and hope. And dedication and hope, my friends, can go very far.
After our tour of Monkey Bay Community Hospital, we visited the more remote Nkope Health Centre, where a group of HIV-positive mothers sat with us at the foot of a huge tree to share their stories. They included incredible hardships, of course (including have to walk many kilometers simply to be treated), but also stories of gratitude, that they were getting good care, the medicines they needed, and often their children were born HIV-negative. We were all quite moved at how open they were with their stories.
As our meeting wound down, Christopher stood and said, “whenever we have meetings, we always close with a song. Do you have a song you’d like to share with us?” he asked, as we stared back at him with blank faces.
“No?” And then he looked around at the Malawian mothers, and just broke into song.
Well, naturally, our group wasn’t going to take that sitting down. And so dance we did!
The truth is, singing, dancing and joy were a big part of our trip to Malawi.