A year ago, Access Health Africa partnered with Operation Medical to provide surgical services to Malawi. Complete surgical teams travel to Malawi, Africa to operate on those who otherwise may not have access to surgical services. We have been able to provide a broad range of procedures to the people of Malawi.
Volunteers, including doctors, nurses, and ancillary support staff, provide acute care to a population of patients who would otherwise not have access to medical care. Malawi has just one doctor per 50,000 people – one of the lowest levels in the world. Recent research found that there are only 37 working surgeons in Malawi, the population of which is estimated to be approximately 17 million people. That’s nearly half a million people per 1 surgeon!
MediServ is a program operated in conjunction with Operation Medical, who brings expertise in providing hands-on global healthcare to the partnership. World Camp staff works directly with healthcare providers in Malawi to locate individuals waiting for surgeries that MediServ volunteers can provide. Malawian providers help prepare patients and work hand-in-hand in providing medical care. MediServ volunteers have also supported emergency room staff as well as rural clinics.
Although funding for healthcare has increased in Malawi in recent years, there are simply not enough trained staff available. While the shortage of medical staff in Malawi has partly been caused by factors such as migration and a lack of access to education, it has also been directly aggravated by AIDS.
The National Association of Nurses in Malawi (NONM) estimates that four nurses are lost to HIV and AIDS related illness every month. By connecting volunteer health providers with under-served populations in Malawi, World Camp is working to provide a comprehensive continuum of services through medical mission trips.
A primary goal of Access Health Africa is not only to address the immediate, acute health issues in Malawi, but also to increase the capacity of the healthcare sector. MediServ volunteers work hand-in-hand with Malawian healthcare workers, providing experiential training to doctors, nurses, and medical students. Volunteers also provide lectures to medical students to add robustness and information on cutting-edge medical techniques