Malawi

The first MMM Sisters arrived in Malawi in 1962. They developed St. John's Hospital in the town of Mzuzu and a well-known nurse training programme. We handed over the hospital in 2000 and the school eventually became Saint John’s College of Nursing and Midwifery.

In 1974 we extended services to a health centre at Nkhata Bay, on the shore of beautiful Lake Malawi. MMMs ran a mother and child welfare clinic and an outreach programme, which we handed over in 1996.

In 1989 we began a rural health centre at Chipini, with maternity services, public health and HIV projects and home-based care. Outreach served seventy-six villages. During the terrible famine in 2002 we helped to prevent many deaths. Also, with the help of hundreds of donors and by working closely with other NGOs, farmers were trained in better agricultural methods. We distributed seeds, fertilizer, and tools, which resulted in good harvests. The famine feeding centres were finally closed in May 2003. We moved from Chipini in 2014.

We currently work in two areas in Malawi. In 1994 we went to Lilongwe, the capital. In our early years there MMMs did vocation ministry, provided education in family planning and pastoral care, and trained hospital chaplains. They ran a diocesan project for people living with AIDS and worked with Jesuit Relief Services to assist refugees after the genocide in Rwanda and Burundi. MMMs helped to develop health services at national and international level. In Mtsiliza, a slum area, we began women’s development programmes.

More recently, in November 2016 St. Kizito’s Integrated Health Centre (Mtsiliza Integrated Health Centre) was opened. Previously the closest health facility for over 55,000 people was ten kilometres away - a two to four-hour walk. The centre includes an antenatal unit, a laboratory and a staff house. A resident clinician has been employed. Physiotherapy is available for physically challenged children and home-based palliative care for people with chronic illnesses and the frail elderly is reaching many local villages.

In 2005 we were invited to take over Kasina Health Centre in the mountainous Dedza District, an hour's drive south of Lilongwe. There are outpatient and antenatal clinics, a nutrition rehabilitation unit, services for people affected by HIV/AIDS, a maternity unit, and health education and screening – including screening for cervical cancer. Awareness has been raised about epilepsy and hypertension, with monthly clinics providing treatment and support. Health surveillance assistants hold child welfare clinics in the villages. With the help of volunteers, a home-based palliative care programme assists people who are suffering from cancer or the complications of AIDS, and the frail elderly with chronic or severe complaints.


MMMs in Malawi are involved in:

  • Basic health care and health screening
  • Palliative care
  • Development work with families in villages
  • HIV programmes
  • Orphan care: training relatives in care of infants; school fees
  • Vocation promotion

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