Speeches Shim

Child Vaccination in Malawi
Vaccinations are critical for neonatal and child survival
Save the Children

Malawi has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios globally, currently estimated at 5.7 maternal deaths per 1,000 live births. Adolescent pregnancies comprise 25 percent of all births and 20 percent of maternal deaths. Neonatal mortality, often caused by birth asphyxia, premature birth, and infection, is estimated at 29 per 1,000 live births, while under-five mortality, mostly caused by malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia, is estimated at 84 per 1000 live births.

USAID provides a continuum of care for women and children. Priorities include strengthening maternal, neonatal, and child health policies, standards, and guidelines; mobilizing communities for increased adoption of individual, household, and community behaviors that positively impact the health of mothers, newborns, and under five children; and training health workers in basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care. 


USAID’s global Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) goal is to end preventable child and maternal deaths in a generation. To do this, USAID integrates high-impact, evidence-based practices into activities that address vital MNCH issues in households, communities, and health facilities. USAID works with the Government of Malawi’s (GoM) Ministry of Health (MoH) to ensure an MNCH focus in district and central level health activities.

In FY 2015, USAID:

  • Supported 90 health facilities in 15 districts to provide all seven internationally recommended Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care life-saving signal interventions.
  • Provided uterotonics in the third stage of labor to 263,797 women.
  • Oriented 852 health workers on Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) and established and/or  strengthened 22 KMC corners in four districts.
  • Collaborated with the national MoH Acute Respiratory Infections program to provide Bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure mentorship to 127 service providers in nine districts.
  • Procured and distributed vital MNCH supplies and equipment in 15 districts, including Community-Based Maternal and Newborn Care carrier bags; salter scales; home visiting forms, Health Surveillance Assistants registers, partographs, nasogastric tubes; bed screens; gumboots; liter buckets and basins; goggles; heavy duty gloves; mattresses; KMC supplies and job aids; and assorted Helping Babies Breathe supplies and equipment.
  • Completed the installation of 40 WE CARE Solar suitcases that provide primary and secondary lighting in operating rooms.
  • Supported MoH in introducing measles second dose.
  • Supported GoM to revise HSA immunization pre-service training curriculum to include pneumococcal conjugate vaccine,  rotavirus vaccine, and strategies such as Reaching Every Child.  
  • Vaccinated 548,845 children with DPT3 (Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus)
  • Treated 151,923 children under five for diarrhea.
  • Gave antibiotic treatment to 424,785 to children under five suspected of having pneumonia.