Nkhoma Hospital is the site of one of the few nursing schools in Malawi. Most recent statistics show that there are only 2,000 nurses for 14,000,000 people living in Malawi. Not only do nurses provide a large share of the medical care within the country, they raise the standard of living of their local communities.
Prior to the summer of 2009, nursing school tuition was subsidized by the Malawian Government but due to budget problems this support has ended for the 2009-2010 school year. Due to lack of funds, there was a significant decrease in the number of nursing students in this year’s first year nursing class. Multiple groups stepped into help, including MCF. We provide tuition support for nursing students at the nursing school in Nkhoma.
Typically nursing students complete their training and move to cities which leaves rural areas severely short of nurses. After receiving funding from MCF, nursing students agree to work for three years in the rural area in which they trained. This support benefits rural hospitals such as Nkhoma Hospital.
The cost for educating one nurse including room and board is approximately $1500 per year dependent on current exchange rates. In the fall of 2010, the Government agreed to reinstate funding for nursing students at mission hospitals, although the exact details of the funding support have not been made public. MCF stands behind the nursing students we support and will continue funding them as long as necessary.