MaiMwana Project: Community empowerment for health

MaiMwana means “mother and child” in the local Malawian language and our project is a research and development organisation based in the rural district of Mchinji in Malawi.

We work directly with mothers and communities to help them help themselves and their children. Our methods work. They’ve led to:

  • 70% reduction in deaths amongst mothers during pregnancy and birth
  • 40% reduction in death amongst newborns

How do we do it?

We work with local communities to help them help themselves. We do this in a range of ways:

We help women get the training to produce radio programmes to educate themselves. We help them lobby for bicycle ambulances so that women in labour can get to a health centre in time. We support communities in setting up group funds and small businesses so they have money to prepare for new children. We facilitate communities and health workers in understanding why mothers and children have died, so they can implement sustainable solutions (and we featured on the BBC for this work!).

Our women’s groups identify problems and act together to solve them. Peer counselling, using mobile phones to gather and spread information, and finding out why people are dying, all lead to reductions in deaths and improvements in health.

We plan to improve and expand our community work, by involving men, working on family planning, improving nutrition, and improving child health.

To see how we do it, watch this video:

“It’s not a drug. It’s not a vaccine. It’s not a device. It’s women, working together, solving problems, saving lives.” Richard Horton, Editor of The Lancet

Why support us:

Securing funding for our on-going support of communities is a challenge. Your donation will allow us to continue working hand in hand with the local health team, reaching the most isolated and vulnerable communities, and helping women save lives.

The Team:

The MaiMwana team is made up of 80 incredibly dedicated staff, including over 50 field workers, data officers, nurses and midwives, PhD students and young Malawian researchers, as well as over 2,000 volunteers across the district.

The team is led by the project manager Tambosi Phiri, a nurse by background, who has spent the last 10 years working with the local health management team. We also have partners at University College London, and the project’s wonderful directors (Peter and Charles, both pediatricians), all dedicated to improving the lives of women and children in Mchinji.

You can help us by:

  • Donating money to help us continue our work saving the lives of mothers and children
  • Sharing our campaign through social media
  • Following our updates and those of our partners (and here!)

By donating or sharing our campaign, you can help us save lives and improve the health and well being of communities in rural Malawi, so please donate and share!

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