Today, the situation has been transformed. Each of Malawi’s district hospitals now has a dedicated palliative care clinic run by a full-time trained member of staff, palliative care is included in all District Health Implementation Plans, with an associated budget line, and there is a consistent supply of morphine at least 82% of the time. The project has also strengthened palliative care in the community, helping to establish effective collaborations between Community Based Organisations and the district hospitals through training and the provision of bicycles for home visits. The number of adult palliative care patients in Malawi doubled between 2011 and 2021, while the number of children receiving palliative care more than quadrupled.
In addition, the country has a National Palliative Care Policy, includes palliative care indicators in its mandatory national health data collection (DHISII) and has been ranked among the top 29 countries in the world for palliative care integration, sitting alongside the UK, USA, Australia and Germany. This is a truly remarkable achievement made possible by the vision of one man, the leadership of Malawi’s Ministry of Health, the tenacity and the hard work of the Palliative Care Association of Malawi,under the leadership of its CEO Lameck Thambo, and our long-term funding partnership.