Malawi Health Equity Network
Thoughts: Problems + Solutions
Arrived in Lilongwe on Tuesday and right away updated the logo for an MHEN workshop on Thursday. My main responsibility will be to build a web site for the organization. Not only does it need to be up and running by the end of the month, but we’ll need to fit in a couple of training sessions before I leave. And then there are smaller design tasks: letterhead here, color report there, a five hour turn-around on a newspaper ad. MHEN also needed a photographer to begin shooting and building a picture archive. Paul took me on a tour of several hospitals in the region. He described the interplay between public health and government, while I showed him some basic photography tricks so he can continue to document the work of MHEN.
Soon we’re off to Mzuzu, a small city in the north of the country. The meeting includes partners and potential partners who will help prepare MHEN for its scheduled parliamentary appearance in a few weeks’ time. A wide range of professionals attended: doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, human-rights activists, lawyers, and child advocates. Some attendees promise to travel to Lilongwe for the legislative date, ensuring “a full court press.”
Among the many topics for advocacy discussed were:
*Providing training for Traditional Birth Assistants and incentives to refer expectant mothers to hospitals.
*Providing training for Health Surveillance Assistants who serve as front-line health care workers in rural areas.
*The pressing need for more equipment like CD4 machines, essential in prescribing Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) for HIV patients.