Healthcare in Zomba District

In Malawi, malnourishment or diseases such as HIV – which affects around 10 percent of the country – suppress immune systems. Half the healthcare facilities lack clean water and sanitation. Electricity blackouts mean equipment used during labour may not be sterilised properly. Hospitals frequently run out of essential supplies such as chlorine, soap and antiseptic gloves.

A 12 minute report 26.05.2017 from following surgeon Dr. Bach and support coming from Germany.

This report shows the day to day work of Zomba District hospital.

Caution – the report shows operations and interviews which some may find upsetting. The hospital has no working emergency room. Seriously ill or injured patients are brought straight to the wards, often by their relatives. Faced with shortages of supplies and equipment, the staff often has to improvise.

Giving birth – taken from a report on antibiotic resistance.

Due to the lack of resources women bring plastic sheets, a razor blade to cut the cord and a bath for the baby; they cant not be sterilised, thus increasing the risk of infection.

To prevent infection, women can be given a dose of antibiotics before a cesarean section. This is not always practiced in Malawi. 

A blood culture test should be carried out if the mother does catch an infection to identify the bacteria causing the problem and which antibiotics might work. But blood culture facilities require sophisticated laboratory equipment and trained staff.  Most hospitals in Malawi don’t have these resources. 

Rising antibiotic resistance is another challenge. Pregnant women with infections are usually given penicillin, gentamicin and ceftriaxone. 

Women having their wombs taken out because of infections. 

Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital performed 36 hysterectomies in 8 weeks due to infection. Dr Martha Makwero, acting head doctor of the maternity department reported. At Zomba Central Hospital, around five women have their wombs removed every month. Dr Maguy Kabeya, head of the maternity department, carried out a three-month observation this year.