Today in Malawi, I held a 5-month-old baby in my arms who was no heavier than 7 pounds due to severe malnourishment and a health care system that has overlooked this tiny human. Many thoughts ran through my mind. How could this baby boy, (who also had a twin sister as tiny and malnourished as him) make it this long without the necessary nutrients? Why was this health issue not addressed earlier? And the answer is clear: the nutrition is not available and the health care is not accessible.
In a country where many only eat once a day, the lack of nutrition is a foundation for many other struggles. How can a child in school truly focus on academics when he is worried about when his next meal will be? How can a weak mother walk five or more miles to seek healthcare? How can a sick mother provide for her three children? The cycle that begins with lack of nutrition is a vicious one.
Inaccessible healthcare is also a major issue. In some villages, like Chadza, a village with more than 250 people, the nearest clinic is 27 kilometers (18 miles) away. And these people, who do not have access to nutritious food, certainly lack the transportation to make a trip to the doctor an “easy” one. This inaccessibility is a major factor in the alarming maternal death rate (1 in 36) here in Malawi.
Action MUST be taken, and that is exactly what 100X Development is doing! While the statistics are alarming, I am very encouraged at the potential we have to help the country of Malawi succeed. There are many basic interventions that will help this developing nation and I am CERTAIN that with the right ideas and the accurate resources, 100X can truly improve the lives of all Malawian people. By providing the appropriate nutrients to small children and babies, and the suitable nutritional supplements to expecting mothers, we are in turn ensuring a healthier lifestyle for both mom and baby.
With the proper resources, we will make healthcare much easier to access for all Malawian people. When people’s stomachs are full and their body is healthy, a nation of any size can prosper. Our team at 100X is very excited about the possibilities in Malawi and we ask you to join us in the charge to make Malawi a better, healthier and happier nation!
—Katie Sanderson, Program Director for Nursing Education