Ndi Moyo

Ndi Moyo Palliative Care Centre (Malawi):

Malawi sits in southern Africa, bordered by Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia. It is the 7th poorest country in the world, where 54% live below the poverty line, and there are an estimated 1,000,000 children orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS.

In Malawi, HIV/AIDS is devastating vulnerable communities at an alarming rate. Levels of stigmatization are high and there are inadequate care and social support services for people living with the disease.

The Salima district faces a desperate shortage of food and medical care: there used to be just one doctor to about 300,000 people – who was also the District Health Officer and the only doctor for the 178 bed government hospital: now there is no-one. Food is scarce at the best of times and is desperately needed for the sick, and their families. In some areas of Malawi up to 33% of the population are infected with HIV/AIDS.

Nurse Lucy Finch with her patient

Nurse Lucy Finch with her patient

Ndi Moyo provides palliative care for some of these people, in particular those suffering with cancer and other associated illnesses.

Ndi Moyo’s vision is to give dignity and understanding to those suffering and in poverty in Malawi, and its main objective is to alleviate pain of chronically ill and dying clients while bringing peace through a holistic approach to the patient and family

Lucy and Tony Finch have established a palliative care centre in Salima that can be an example and model for replication elsewhere in Malawi:

A day care centre that is holistic and meets the individual needs of patients and families;

A building that is simple and low cost to establish and run, yet is able to radiate a spirit of care and have the expertise to deal with severe pain control, to keep and administer oral morphine and also supply other appropriate pain killers and medications required by patients it treats, and support to their families;

A team that works together with community volunteers and identified health professionals, to build a caring team that provides holistic care for all those in need of help and to bring dignity to the dying;

A centre that works towards mitigating the pain suffered by many of the chronically ill people within the district and work with and train those health professionals and volunteers working within the present health care and home based care organizations;

Anna Callegari and Beth Gessinger at Ndi Moyo

Volunteers Anna and Beth at Ndi Moyo

A team which receives referrals from the Salima District Hospital, other government medical clinics and the home based care community based services and non-government organization like SASO and Salima Catholic Parish HBC;

Experts who provide hands-on training to Malawians wanting to learn more about the practice of palliative care using a holistic approach to treatment and;

A centre that is able to attract support and volunteers with expertise from other countries to help develop palliative care for Salima that is a beacon of hope and inspiration to all.

SOLID has been proud to support Ndi Moyo in providing a comfort fund in the amount of $3000 annually to offer much needed comfort items such as blankets, mats, food, transport, and basic medicines for those Palliative Patients in their last days and weeks of life.

SOLID has also pledged to help train home based care workers in the Salima area by funding the printing and distribution of a Palliative Care Field Guide for community-based volunteers.

Pharmacist and Volunteer Gesine in Malawi

In 2011 SOLID raised over $10,000 for the centre to offer $5000 to continue to support the Comfort Fund and SOLID has also agreed to partially fund the formal training of Chris Mindiera, the centre’s Clinical Officer as he completes his Bachelor Degree in Palliative Care through Hospice Uganda , in partnership with Makerere University and African Palliative Care Association. The further education of the centre’s only clinical officer will benefit not only the centre’s immediate clients but also provides the potential for training many other care givers and health professionals on the management of palliative patients.