Child Legacy International reduces needless deaths by establishing healthcare facilities in rural areas, providing free health services to Africa’s most disadvantaged men, women, and children.
Over 85% of Malawi’s 17 million people live in rural villages, yet because there is no access to electricity in these rural areas, hospitals are concentrated in urban areas. This has left the majority of Malawians without access to even the most basic healthcare services. We are located in the heart of these remote villages and serve tens of thousands of patients every year because Child Legacy Hospital is powered by 100% wind and solar energy.
CLI Hospital in Malawi provides free care across a wide range of healthcare services—from routine vaccinations to labor & delivery to surgical procedures. Since opening in 2012, we have brought world-class healthcare services to over 500,000 people. Children under 5 were dying of malaria, dysentery, and respiratory infections, but now they can get free treatment from our hospital. Since the Labor & Delivery Ward opened in 2015, it has seen over 8,000 healthy births. Free services include blood testing, basic medical treatment, diagnosis, immunizations, medicine distribution, HIV/AIDS informational workshops, prenatal care, labor and delivery, and minor surgery. The hospital is staffed by more than 80 Malawian healthcare professionals.
CLI’s health program is guided by the approach outlined in the Essential Health Package (EHP), a list of 13 conditions and diseases with recommended interventions that were established by the World Health Organization in collaboration with Malawi’s Ministry of Health. The EHP is intended to reduce the major causes of morbidity and mortality among the most vulnerable groups in society. To ensure community access to EHP care, the Malawi government mandates that these services be provided free of charge in all public health facilities. The EHP specifically targets the impoverished and contributes to the implementation of United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). All services implemented at CLI Hospital revolve around the EHP guidelines.
Malawi has incredibly high maternal and infant mortality rates and the highest rate of premature births in the world. Like all problems in developing countries, this is a multifaceted issue without a simple “fix.”
CLI works to reduce these numbers by taking a holistic approach of nutritional education and high-quality healthcare provision from day one of a woman’s pregnancy. The CLI Hospital team also holds bi-monthly community mobilization events in the surrounding areas to educate and inform villagers of the importance of prenatal care and professional delivery. In a country where over 70% of women deliver their children at home, this mobilization alone makes a huge difference in saving the lives of mothers and infants alike.
To reduce the number of mothers and infants at risk, CLI starts with antenatal care, where we screen pregnant women for the leading causes of maternal death: anemia, minor infections, pre-eclampsia/eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy). We combat the two remaining top killers of pregnant women—obstructed labor and sepsis—in our Labor & Delivery Ward. Our team of highly qualified healthcare professionals ensures that potential obstructed labor is known early and cared for accordingly in facilities that are clean and sterile at all times. CLI saves lives by offering high-quality care throughout a woman’s pregnancy and continues that care for her and her family for the rest of their lives.
The Chingele Clinic, our primary healthcare center in Zimbabwe, serves a catchment area of over 40,000 rural people. The clinic is powered completely by solar panels and wind turbines, which provide a stable source of electricity for lighting, equipment, and medicine refrigeration and allow our highly experienced staff to deliver thousands of babies and treat illnesses as severe as HIV/AIDS or ailments as simple as scraped knees. All who enter the doors are offered high-quality medical treatment, as well as vitamin/nutritional and HIV/AIDS counseling. Over half a million cases have been treated at the Chingele Clinic since it was established in 1993.
Currently, approximately 1% of Malawi’s population is bilaterally blind. This translates to over 136,000 people, 80% of whom are blinded by preventable and treatable conditions. Blind individuals with great potential have few options for skills training, and instead of contributing to the community and the economy, they create a major drain on resources. When ophthalmological surgery can cure blindness in 80% of cases, the socioeconomic impact can be especially dramatic in a nation as impoverished as Malawi.
CLI has partnered with Sight for Life to bring eye care to rural Malawi. Together with renowned eye surgeon, Dr. Rick Sponsel, we have worked to establish a state-of-the-art eye clinic at CLI Hospital: The Eyes of Africa Center of Excellence. In 2015 Child Legacy hosted the Eyes of Africa event, bringing government officials and leading doctors from around the world together for program planning, dialogue, and tours of the hospital. Visiting ophthalmology professionals perform surgeries when they are in the country, until the program can sustain employment of a full-time ophthalmologist.
Child Legacy Community Hospital in Malawi
Malawian healthcare professionals employed at CLI Hospital