Challenges to Mental Health Care in Malawi

Location – Central Region, Lilongwe District, Malawi

Authored by: Katelyn Klein , Edilma L. Yearwood

Routledge Handbook of Global Mental Health Nursing

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138017610
eBook ISBN: 9781315780344
Adobe ISBN: 9781317702221


 Download Chapter



Originally from the United States with a background in intensive care and emergency nursing, I (Katelyn) moved to Malawi to work as a nurse at a rural hospital. I cared for patients on both the adult and pediatric wards with illnesses ranging from malaria to opportunistic infections to mental illness. What I observed was that rural hospitals in Malawi are resource poor, with few oxygen machines, no CT scans, a small number of available laboratory tests, and limited medication access. I spent the first few months of my time in Malawi relearning how to be a nurse with significantly different resources and in a vastly different culture. In addition to my inpatient work, after several months I also began working for an outpatient malnutrition development program. For the malnutrition program, I regularly visited rural health centers that were part of our district and followed up with severe malnutrition cases out in the villages at the patients’ homes. I am very thankful to my Malawian colleagues who taught me how to be a nurse in rural Malawi and helped me to better understand the factors—cultural, poverty-related, and otherwise—that impact health care in this beautiful but struggling nation.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.