Embangweni Hospital - Malawi

Hospital beds – 170

Total Staff – 247

In Patient Admissions – 5,315

Outpatient Visits – 30,209

Maternity Deliveries – 3,587

Target Areas for Sustainable Impact

  • Reduction in maternal mortality and infant mortality
  • Increasing access to primary healthcare services including treatment of malaria

Embangweni Hospital serves a population of 100,000 people from over 250 villages in a 35- mile radius in Northern Malawi. Malawi, with a population of ten million people, is one of the world’s poorest countries. Traveling to Embangweni can be difficult especially during the rainy months from November to April. Most of Embangweni’s patients are subsistence farmers, living in small villages with extended, very poor families.

Poor patients now have access to free maternity care services at the hospital through a recent Malawi government program. However, the government SLA reimbursement does not cover the total actual cost of services and government payments are inconsistent and/or delayed, placing a financial burden on the hospitals. Through support of its US partners, MBF has entered into an agreement to help cover the amount for deliveries not included in the government SLA.

Embangweni is known for its provision of quality medical care with consistently high numbers of outpatients and a low inpatient death rate. They are committed to Primary Healthcare as the most effective and sustainable way to improve the health of the community. The greatest problem continues to be the shortage of nurses and trained doctors.

The hospital also provides an extensive outreach through 23 mobile clinics and four remote health centers, one of which is forty miles from Embangweni. Preventive services at the outreach clinics include maternal-child health, family planning, under-five vaccination clinics, nutrition, HIV and AIDS testing and ART treatments.

HIV/AIDS threatens the hospital on multiple fronts. The number of trained staff has been reduced by HIV infection, and the increased number of patients suffering from AIDS has placed an immense burden on the hospital. The falling life expectancy is depriving the hospital of an economically active patient base. While HIV/AIDS is the biggest challenge facing health personnel in Malawi, malaria continues to be the number one reason both adults and children are admitted to the hospital.

Through extended outreach programs Embangweni Hospital offers regular teaching about nutrition, HIV/AIDS, child spacing and maternal and child health. Additional development work includes education in agriculture, provision of protected wells for clean drinking water and income generating program for the villagers. To reduce maternal deaths, the hospital offers free treatment to antenatal and postnatal mothers. They also offer within the catchment area, free transport for maternity cases, orphans, poor widows, aged and those chronically ill.