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Malawi is situated in Southeast Africa and it shares borders with Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique. The capital of Malawi is Lilongwe. Malawi is a former colony of Great Britain and it regained its independence on July 6th 1964. While the official language of Malawi is English, the local people speak Chichewa. Its gross domestic product is estimated to be about $157 US per citizen. The country is covered by one third of forests and bush land while Lake Malawi and other rivers make up another fourth. The rest of the land is used for agriculture. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is estimated that 42 percent of the 30 million inhabitants live on less than one US$ per day. The majority of the population is illiterate. The illiteracy-rate of women, estimated at 50 percent is greater than that of men. The average life-expectancy is just above 30 years. The HIV pandemic has hit Malawi hard, since an average of 20% of the 15 to 49 age group has been infected by HIV. Another huge problem is the  high mortality rate of children and mothers. The causes of the high mortality rate could be treated with basic health-care.




The Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) are the only source of advice and help during pregnancy and delivery for many women. Due to bad infrastructure and long distances, the TBAs cannot transfer their patients to the maternity hospital in Nkhotakota District and therefore have to handle all medical issues involved. The TBAs medical knowledge is learned from their mothers. Due to the lack of formal training, the TBAs are  not prepared to deal with basic complications which can escalate to death. Despite this, the TBAs are trusted by the village communities  to treat all of their women. This trust and the handed-over knowledge are some factors of why this project was created. This project will give the TBAs the training and tools  that will be  put into practice immediately and will become part of the traditional process of knowledge transfer. Thus, a sustainable impact that prolongs over generations will be attained.   


Situation of children in Malawi:

  1. Basic medical care is denied due to the lack of medical and technical equipment and not enough doctors and nurses.
  2. The mortality of babies in Malawi is the highest in the world (112 and 178 deaths per 1000 births). Malaria, Diarrhoea and malnutrition are some of the causes of infant mortality.
  3. The death-rate of mothers has almost doubled since 1992 and is at present one of the highest rates in the world. Today it is estimated that 1,100 per 100,000 births lead to the death of mothers in Malawi.
  4. Common vitamins such as vitamin E, iron, and iodine are very hard to acquire throughout the whole country of Malawi
  5. 83,000 children are already infected with HIV, another 20,000 to 40,000 newborn babies risk to get infected by their mothers during pregnancy.
  6. Almost one million children in Malawi have already lost one or both of their parents – half of them due to AIDS.
  7. Unfortunately, very few children get to attend high school.. The children that do get the opportunity are faced with unsanitary, over-crowed classrooms with inadequate textbooks and school supplies.
  8. Abuse, sexual exploitation, human trafficking as well as child labour are reality for millions of children in Malawi – especially girls which suffer the most from discrimination and violence.


"Lebenschancen Malawi" ("Chances to live Malawi") is an initiative of scholars of the Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation. The project is under the patronage of the former German President Walter Scheel."