Pedal-Powered Hope: Malawi

Malawi is one of the poorest countries on Earth, with a per-capita GDP of just $299 per year. It is also one of the countries hardest-hit by HIV/AIDS, with over 900,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in a country of 10.4 million people. But there are many signs of hope...

Community Care – a New Healthcare Model for Africa
Community care represents a new model of healthcare for Malawi and for many parts of Africa.  These Malawian community care workers are a grassroots network of volunteers (for the most part) who travel around the countryside filling in the gap left by the woefully inadequate government-run healthcare system.  In districts across the country, large numbers of people are served by as few as 1 doctor per 100,000 residents, resulting in a desperately inadequate healthcare system.

This is where the community care model comes in.  Community Health Workers (CHWs) perform support services, such as dispensing antiretroviral medication, taking blood samples, and providing counselling on proper medication procedures.  They also take on vital roles in HIV/AIDS prevention education and community support (such as orphan support and palliative care).  They are a vital part in the war against HIV/AIDS, and if any efforts are to be successful in stemming the tide of the disease, these efforts will and must include community care workers.

Bikes Without Borders in Malawi

Bikes Without Borders is working with a Malawian-based NGO (YONECO) to establish a program that will provide Community Health Workers in 7 districts with 400 new bikes and 100 bicycle ambulances. Providing a bicycle or bicycle ambulance to a CHW allows them to reach up to 5 times as many patients, reach remote communities with patient support and HIV/AIDS prevention education, and do their work more efficiently and with greater impact.  400 bikes and 100 bicycle ambulances will allow our network of CHWs in Malawi to reach an estimated 15,000 additional people with lifesaving medication, prevention education and additional support services.

Just $150 purchases a reliable, durable bike for a Community Healthcare Worker in Malawi. $400 is enough to purchase a bicycle ambulance. Visit our donations page to make your investment in the future of African healthcare!

Meet Joseph

Joseph is a member of Kadyalunda Community Based Home Care group. He is a 28 year-old community health worker working in a poor community in the Balaka district of Malawi. Kadyalunda is operated almost entirely by volunteers like Joseph. His job is ensure that people living with HIV and AIDS receive quality community care, providing health education on sanitation, promoting HIV testing and counselling and ensuring that members of the community take an active role in supporting those affected by HIV and AIDS. He works with 15 other volunteers supporting 85 people living with HIV and AIDS in 6 villages. In this community, the group village headman estimates that there could be over 200 people who are HIV positive. Joseph's main duties include: doing household chores for those who are very sick (e.g. fetching firewood, fetching water, washing their clothes, smearing their houses, cooking and persuading patients to eat), and conducting awareness campaign on advantages of HIV prevention and nutrition, consequences of stigma and discrimination. He also shares testimonies, encouraging other people to collect ARVs (antiretroviral drugs) and taking ARVs and conducting counselling sessions on acceptance of the results. The area Joseph covers is 2km for the shortest distance but the longest is 6 km and about 23 km from the district hospital to his operational area. Joseph’s challenges in his work include: transportation to collect ARVs for his patients, poor nutrition for his clients, inadequate resources, lack of mobility to reach out to his clients and poverty among his patients.

 

 

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