Project Malawi is a student-run organization focused on promoting equity, health, and development in at-need and under-resourced sectors of Malawi. Project Malawi, founded by Global Health and pre-medical students Jared Alswang and Will Belshe, all started in the summer of 2016 when Jared worked on an HIV/AIDS research project with the Norwegian nonprofit, Luke International in Mzuzu, Malawi.
During his internship, Jared spent a lot of time working in hospitals throughout the Northern Region of the country and was astonished and dismayed by the heartbreaking conditions of the health facilities in Northern Malawi. Overflowing with patients, sick children at the Mzuzu Central Hospital were forced to lie on the floor. Many drugs - including those needed to treat pneumonia and asthma - were either completely out of stock or long expired. Patients had to use plastic bags in place of out-of-stock colostomy bags, and there was only one medical ventilator for a population of roughly 1.9 million people. Jared, who has been on medical missions to Ecuador and Honduras, had never seen medical facilities so poorly equipped. Traveling from hospital to hospital within the region, it became clear that this was a systematic issue, but one that could be improved.
Jared made it his mission to improve the quality of medical care for the amazing people of Northern Malawi, with whom he had grown very close during his months in country. Working closely with local health officials and medical professionals, Jared made a comprehensive needs assessment for the hospitals within the region. Partnering with Project C.U.R.E., Jared has initiated a project to open the first two Medical High Dependency Units in Northern Malawi at Mzuzu Central Hospital and Chitipa District Hospital and a minor operating theatre at Nthalire Health Centre.
Project C.U.R.E. has agreed to support the people of Malawi by providing C.U.R.E. Cargo containers - 40-foot ocean-going containers with $400,000 to $500,000 worth of medical equipment and supplies. Sending a container to Malawi requires a $4,000 follow-up needs assessment and a $20,000 cargo transportation fee. With a goal to raise enough money to support the shipment and delivery of three C.U.R.E. Cargo containers, Jared came back to school and partnered with fellow Global Health and pre-medical student, Will Belshe, to start the Project Malawi Club at the University of Southern California to meet the fundraising goals set and continue improving the medical infrastructure of the country.
For every $1 donated to this project, more than $20 of medical supplies will be donated to the indigent communities of Northern Malawi, and mobilizing half a million dollars of medical resources will save numerous lives. Every penny donated to the project will be greatly appreciated, not just by the members of Project Malawi, but also the wonderful people of Malawi.