Chizula Village is a remote village in the southern part of Malawi, Africa. Its isolated location makes it difficult to access or get supplies in and out of the village. Healthcare marks a particular problem for the locals — when the villagers encounter health issues, they end up having to travel over 20 kilometres to the nearest medical facility, Monkey Bay Government Hospital. As the main source of healthcare for the region, the hospital is underfunded and overburdened. It’s also a long way to travel on foot, which is the main mode of transport in Chizula Village.
For the past three years, Australian NGO Educaring Africa has been working to change that. Educaring Africa have been hard at work raising funds and constructing a medical facility that will help not only Chizula Village, but everyone in the region. The new clinic will provide affordable healthcare to over 40 villages in the surrounding area.
The clinic is named the ‘Tim Russell Community Medical Clinic’, after one of Educaring Africa’s close supporters who sadly passed away before the facility was complete. The clinic will have four consulting rooms, other services like cancer screening and HIV/AIDS testing, a full-functioning pharmacy and a space that can be used for community health talks.
The project has now entered its final phase, with external walls built and roofing complete. Sean’s Reece Grant will fund the purchase of septic tanks, toilets, a water tank and installation. It can be difficult to get these fixtures in Malawi, and the size of the clinic means high-quality plumbing is a must. Running water and functioning toilets are the last piece of the puzzle to get the clinic operating.
Sean Car, the founder of Educaring Africa, has always felt a close connection to the continent. After being diagnosed with a kidney tumour as a child, The Starlight Foundation funded his travels in Africa. When Sean recovered, he was determined to give back to the place he loved as a child. Sean was in Africa for another one of Educaring Africa’s projects when he visited Chizula. He saw a desperate need for proper medical facilities.
Sean dispatched the new products and fixtures in style. Before the shipping container was loaded onto a cargo boat in Melbourne, it was displayed for two weeks and covered in art by notable African artists, art students and the general public. Once the items arrive, Sean will travel to Malawi to oversee the final leg of the project. With the help of the Reece Grant, the Tim Russell Community Medical Clinic will open before the end of 2019.