Uganda has eight doctors per 100,000 whilst Malawi has just 2 doctors per 100,000 people. The majority of these are based in urban areas, leaving the rural areas with even fewer doctors to provide healthcare. We sponsor medical students at the Malawi College of Medicine and at Gulu University, Uganda. The latter is based in rural and post-conflict northern Uganda and the College of Medicine is the only medical school in Malawi.
Peter comes from the capital of Malawi, Lilongwe and went to school in Dzenza. It was here that he first started thinking of becoming a doctor. Peter is now in his fourth year and enjoying medical school, despite the demanding nature of the work. He hopes to become a general surgeon in the future.
Peter writes after a rotation in Obstetrics and Gynaecology: ‘Mothers have to travel from faraway places to access tertiary care when there is a need. No wonder Maternal Mortality Ratio, (MMR) is high in our country. As of 2008, it stood at 807 [per 100,000 live births]. Though this is not good enough, the figure is an improvement from almost 1120 in the year 2002 and 984 in year 2004. That is why our country like many countries in Africa needs a lot of health personnel like doctors and nurses. It’s not just on paper that Malawi needs more doctors, it is real and I’ve seen it.’