About Malawi

The Republic of Malawi, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, shares a border with Tanzania, Mozambique, and Zambia. Lake Nyasa, also known as Lake Malawi, takes up about a third of Malawi's area and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The country has a population of 20.3 million people, many of whom live in the highest-density, southern, rural parts of the country and close to Lake Nyasa. Most of the population is Christian and speak the Bantu languages of Chichewa, Chitumbuka, and Chiyao. English is the official language of Malawi.

Formerly a colony of Britain, Malawi is politically stable and has implemented structural and economic reforms to sustain growth. Agriculture is the primary employer for 80 percent of Malawi’s people, with tobacco, sugar cane, tea, and corn among the biggest cash crops. Free primary education was made available in the mid-1990s, leading to increased school enrollment. As much as half of the population lives in poverty.

Despite the challenges that poverty presents, there has been an increase in life expectancy, from 40 years to around 64 years between 2000 and 2019. The diseases causing the most deaths in Malawi include HIV/AIDS, neonatal disorders, lower respiratory infections, tuberculosis, diarrheal diseases, and meningitis. Non-communicable diseases have notably increased to cause significant deaths as well, with marked increases in stroke, ischemic heart disease, and cirrhosis. Malawi’s healthcare system might not be equipped to face some of these health challenges, as it is susceptible to shortages of supplies, drugs, and health workers. While Malawi initiated the Drug Revolving Funds to supply communities with medications at a discounted cost and has expanded training of health workers, the country is still in need of assistance.


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