One month until Malawi

Waiting room

Malawi is one of the poorest countries Africa. Despite its beautiful landscape and serene lake, half of the population lives under the poverty line. Some women and men earn less than 1 US dollar per day, not enough to afford an education or proper food for their families. Their live is a hardship and there is not a lot to change about it.

The hospital I will be working in this summer is called Zomba central state hospital (Malawi). This hospital is the only health institution for 730 000 people who live in and around Zomba. Its capacity is surely always overloaded. A hospital in Africa works a lot differently than the ones we are used to in Europe. To start with, there is one nurse for about 60 patients. 2 patients have to share a bed. If worse comes to worse, mattresses are put on the floor for extra space. Running water is not always available, neither is electricity. Many children are malnourished and  die before they reach the age of 5. About 11.9 % of the population is HIV positive.

There are a lot of stories that strike me as unbelievable and disheartening when I read about or talk to german doctors that have been in Malawi. Their commitment and strength is heroic, and should be truly appreciated. Soon I will be able to share my own stories and experiences. Just one more month and I will be starting a 4 week journey to explore the darkest and brightest corners of Africa. It is a trip I’m both fearful and content of. What will approach me is probably beyond my imagination.

(photograph taken from: http://malawigoodlife.de/zomba-central-hospital/)

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