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Malawi 2013 Funding Round

The First Minister has announced the projects to be funded through the Malawi 2013 funding round.  The following 15 projects – with a total value of £4,920,106 – have been approved for funding over the 2013/14 – 2015/16 period. 

That includes 9 Health projects with a value of £3,041,847 and 6 sustainable Economic Development projects, with a value of £1,878,259.  We expect projects in the Education and Civic Society and Governance themes to be announced later this year.



Organisation:          Strathclyde University           

Project Title:            Scotland Chikhwawa Health Iniative (SCHI)                                

Total award:            £388,342 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: Improved health status can be addressed through the Healthy Settings approach.  Healthy Settings not only addresses access to curative health services, but also environmental, sociological and economic determinants for health in the home, school and work environments using a community led approach.  This can lead to substantial reductions in the burden on curative health services and reduce the morbidity and mortality of both communicable and non-communicable diseases in communities.  This project will seek to develop eighteen model communities, in-line with the Healthy Settings approach and integrate the principles into the six associated schools, five markets  and one health facility.


Organisation:          Scotland-Malawi Mental Health Education Project (SMMHEP)   

Project Title:            Enhancing Mental Health Training                                                 

Total award:            £382,180 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: This project aims to train and support mental health specialists to take leading roles in strengthening the mental health training of District-level primary health teams.  The project will adopt a key recommendation of the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) - that adequate human resources for delivery of essential mental health interventions should be met by community–based programmes, and that task shifting approaches that train and support non-specialist health professionals should be used.  A programme of sustainable cascaded training in district level mental health care will be developed and delivered in 5 districts.  By the end of the project the skills and infrastructure will be in place to roll out the programme to all districts within existing Ministry of Health structures.

The project will also develop sustainable e-learning based postgraduate and undergraduate mental health courses at the College of Medicine to consolidate the on-going training of mental health specialists (doctors, medical students), and reduce reliance on short-term volunteers.  In addition, annual Malawi Health Conferences will be organised to promote exchange of research findings, knowledge and skills among mental health professionals within and without Malawi.


Organisation:          University of Edinburgh

Project Title:            Transforming the Education and Training of Clinical Professionals Delivering Maternal and Child Healthcare in Malawi

Total award:             £396,425 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: Malawi has high maternal, neonatal, child and infant mortality rates and the Government has made a major commitment to address these issues in-line with the Millennium Development Goals.  A skilled, multi-disciplinary workforce able to work together to solve these problems is a national priority.  Leaders in the professions, which have direct impact on health service quality, require specialist education/training beyond their initial qualifications, and both the College of Medicine (COM) and the Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN), at the University of Malawi now offer Masters courses for doctors and nurses in maternal and child health specialties.  In addition, and in response to a Ministry of Health request, COM has developed new specialty BSc degrees for Clinical Officers.  In partnership with the University of Malawi, this project will support the development, delivery and management of the Masters and Clinical Officers degrees, and address missed opportunities to share teaching and training between specialties, and the lack of an integrated, multidisciplinary response to clinical problems.


Organisation:          Concern Worldwide

Project Title:            Improving Opportunities and Use of Reproductive Health Among Women and Youth (OUR WAY)

Total award:            £400,000 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: Although Malawi has made progress in decreasing maternal mortality over the past 5 years, the maternal mortality ratio remains among the highest in the world, at 675/100,000 live births. Concern’s health and nutrition surveys have consistently found that women living farther from health facilities are less likely to access antenatal and postnatal care, and are more likely to deliver at home.  This project will address access to services through expanding community-based options for reproductive health and family planning, including mobile outreach clinics, particularly for hard-to-reach populations.  Existing Village Health Clinics, which currently only treat children under five years of age, will be supported to incorporate community-based family planning services.


Organisation:          Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF)

Project Title:            Action Meningitis: Enhancing Awareness and Recognition of Severe Illness in Children in Malawi

Total award:            £131,400 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: Hospital-based studies suggest that late presentation to hospital is a driving factor for death from bacterial meningitis and other severe illnesses in Malawi, where the fatality rate for children with meningitis is over 50%.  At primary healthcare level, recent MRF research identified that poor service provision and expectation of misdiagnoses contribute to late presentation for appropriate care in hospitals.  The research also found that meningitis is regularly mistaken for malaria at both community and primary care level.  Given the rapid onset of meningitis and other severe childhood illnesses, urgent hospital treatment is vital.  Research into treatment pathways for children also identified the need to raise awareness of meningitis and promote appropriate health-seeking for severe illness in Malawi. 

This project aims to teach health workers methods of triage, using the WHO Emergency Triage Assessment and Treatment (ETAT) system, so that meningitis and other life threatening diseases can be identified and treated far more rapidly, with a consequent improvement in survival rates.  In addition, radio and theatre will be used to raise awareness of meningitis, to address health-related social issues and to encourage early treatment seeking for sick children.


Organisation:          NHS Lothian

Project Title:            The Edinburgh Malawi Cancer Partnership

Total award:            £158,292 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: In response to the growing numbers of patients diagnosed with cancer, the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre has established a cancer unit, the only one in Malawi.  With the establishment of the unit, there is an urgent need to help facilitate the development of upgraded and sustainable cancer services to ensure that the impact of improved treatment for patients with cancer is achieved.

Therefore, the main outcome for this project is the development of an integrated cancer and palliative care unit at the hospital promoting high quality, safe and effective treatment for patients with all stages of cancer.  The project will work to develop effective data management systems to organise clinical care and to monitor information on workload and outcomes.  A multi-disciplinary team will work to ensure that decisions on patient care are best informed, and a multi-professional approach to care delivery is developed to ensure the service can make more effective use of its workforce, maximising capacity and capability.  Further, robust evidence-based protocols that support clinically effective and safe evidence-based practice will be developed.


Organisation:          NHS Lothian

Project Title:            Developing a Sustainable Programme of Cervical Cancer Screening

Total award:            £399,399 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: In Malawi, cervical cancer is the most frequent cancer among women of a reproductive and economically important age (45.4% of female cancers), with an 80% mortality, with numbers projected to increase over the next two decades.  There are currently no national programmes for cervical cancer prevention through immunisation or screening, contributing to the high burden of mortality: many women now survive childbirth only to die later of preventable cervical cancer.  Inadequate access to treatment, ostracisation of women with severe symptoms of cervical cancer, and limited palliative care services are additional features.

This project will develop a sustainable cervical cancer prevention programme through three linked elements: increased provision of screening clinics; a ‘train the trainers’ skills model for staff in Nkhoma Hospital; and, development of staff skills in data collection and monitoring to inform future services.



Organisation:          Christian Aid Scotland

Project Title:            Enhanced Community-Based Maternal, Neonatal and Child Care in Karonga District

Total award:            £385,963 over three financial years (2013-2016).


Project Summary: This projects aims to contribute to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 by addressing the major causes of maternal, neonatal and child mortality in Karonga District, northern Malawi.  In particular, the project aims to:

  • Increase access to, and uptake of, quality Maternal Neonatal Child Care (MNCH) services through strengthening village health clinics in all 63 villages.
  • Strengthen referral and case management processes through redefining the traditional birth attendants’ role to ‘mother advisors’, and establishing a reward scheme for referring women to health facilities for delivery.
  • Provide mobile telephones to link communities to their nearest health facilities, and four motorbike ambulances to enable referrals to health facilities and the district hospital.
  • Improve community participation in MNCH care through 66 established women groups, and strengthen the capacity of women, men and community leaders to make positive decisions that address socio-cultural and domestic barriers affecting women's health. 


Organisation:          Mary’s Meals

Project Title:            Mary’s Meals School Feeding Programme Expansion             

Total award:             £399,846

Project Summary:  The project will establish school feeding operations in 18 primary schools, in turn increasing access to education and improving nutrition for children. 

Primary education net enrolment rate in Malawi is very low and the numbers of children completing primary education are low because of high dropout rates and progression rates are also poor.  Malnutrition is common amongst children and low attendance at school is predominantly attributed to sickness or hunger. The project meets development needs of Malawi by contributing to the goal of universal primary education targeting children living in areas of poverty and food insecurity by removing barriers to education such as hunger.

The project will offset immediate household costs and support short-term economic growth through purchase of food from local small scale producers. Long term it contributes to sustainable economic growth through contribution to an individual’s nutritional requirements and education releasing individual potential and that of the nation in general.




Organisation:          Microloan Foundation (MLF) UK                                                     

Project Title:            Stimulating Business Development and Income-Growth in Central Malawi       

Total award:             £377,304 over three financial years (2013-2016).


Project Summary: MLF-Malawi, in the Central Region, will help 6,323 new clients to develop a business and 9,351 existing clients to grow their businesses.  Clients’ businesses will generate profits and smooth the precarious incomes of impoverished households.  The loan capital will be disbursed through a variety of products, and clients will open a bank account, build savings, and develop business and financial-literacy skills; crucial steps towards long-term independence from poverty.  This will facilitate the economic empowerment of over 15,000 women and 78,000 children and dependents, who will benefit from increased spending on education, dietary consumption and healthcare.  In addition, the project will disburse sustainable electricity, increase agricultural production, and improve women’s economic and social status in their household and community.  By providing a range of products, MLF-M will provide an integrated pathway for clients to move from absolute poverty to ultimate independence.  


Organisation:          Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF)                      

Project Title:            Mangochi Livelihoods and Economic Recovery Project         

Total award:             £378,225 over three financial years (2013-2016).


Project Summary: Malawi currently faces serious challenges such as a shortage of foreign reserves, scarcity of fuel and high inflation, which have resulted in an economic slowdown, and increased poverty and hunger.  Against this backdrop, the Malawi Government has developed an Economic Recovery Plan to improve prospects for socioeconomic growth and development, which includes development of agricultural production for increased food security.  This project aims to support 3,000 households in Mangochi to increase their income and food security through effective crop and livestock productivity and small scale business, thus supporting government efforts to enhance the productivity of the small producer agriculture sector.  Overall, it aims to create an enabling environment for vulnerable groups to improve their living conditions and participate in the country’s development. 


Organisation:          Oxfam Scotland

Project Title:            Social and Economic Empowerment of 19,200 Smallholder Producers in Rural Malawi

Total award:             £400,000 over three financial years (2013-2016).


Project Summary: This project aims to address the inter-related problems of economic and social insecurities faced by 19,200 poor households, around 70% of whom will be women, and particularly those living with, or affected by HIV and AIDS (including child-headed households), as they are most vulnerable to shocks and marginalisation. Specifically, this project aims to improve: access to value-chains, particularly in the horticultural and livestock sectors; skills and technology to optimise livestock and crop production; access to financial services by smallholder producers; and capacity for advocacy of smallholder producers.

This project will develop a sustainable exit strategy from the current International  Development Fund supported project (2010-2013) ‘Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods for Vulnerable Groups, Particularly Women, in Chiradzulu District’.


Organisation:          Just Trading Scotland (JTS)

Project Title:            Improving the Livelihoods of Rice Farmers in Karonga

Total award:             £276,255 over three financial years (2013-2016).


Project Summary: Rice farmers in Karonga District are faced with the following problems: access only to poor quality seeds which produce a limited crop of variable quality; limited means of transporting their crops to market; limited markets for their products; and, unscrupulous traders operating with inaccurate scales.

This project aims to take 3,000 rice farmers in Karonga out of poverty permanently, through assisting the farmers to substantially increase their yields (and marketing) of high quality Kilombero rice, thereby increasing their disposable income.  A fund will also be created through Kapara Smallholder Farmers’ Association (KASFA), from which the farmers will be able to buy basic seeds for the next planting – thus, this project aims to produce a genuinely sustainable “virtuous cycle” of crop production and sales that will run from year to year.


Organisation:          Global Concerns Trust

Project Title:            Tools and Training for Livelihood in Malawi

Total award:             £109,738 over three financial years (2013-2016).

Project Summary: Twenty per cent of the population living below the poverty line in Malawi are disabled.  This project aims to contribute to the reduction of poverty, the enhancement of economic sustainability, and improvement in community integration of physically disabled men and women in Nkhotakota and Salima districts. 

The lack of skills development programmes, especially in rural areas, is explicitly recognised in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy, and Nkhotakota is a Government targeted rural area currently without training opportunities.  During the lifetime of this project, 39 men and women will receive training in carpentry and tailoring, and in Salima, 90 men and women will receive training in tailoring, knitting, cane chair/basket-weaving and curio-making to become economically self-reliant.  Further, all trainees will be provided with start-up toolkits, business training and on-going support, and HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and gender awareness training.  The project will place emphasis on empowering women; at least 55% of trainees will be women.


Organisation:          Scotland Malawi Business Group

Project Title:            Aquaculture Enterprise Malawi

Total award:            £336,737 over three financial years (2013-2016).


Project Summary: The principal conclusion of the International Development Fund (2012-2013) supported scoping study, ‘Aquaculture Enterprise Malawi (AEM)’ was that, while ‘rural aquaculture’ has a role to play in sustaining household food security in Malawi, it is not commercially viable.  To contribute effectively to development, aquaculture in Malawi requires manufactured formulated fish feed, a regular supply of quality young fish, access to a continuous year round supply of water, and access to markets and finance.  However, given the relatively high transaction and opportunity costs involved in satisfying these requirements, the development of small-scale commercial aquaculture necessitates ponds being located within or in close proximity to peri-urban environments.

This new project aims to create and foster a supportive business environment in which an optimally located network of 60 small-scale fish farmers can operate on a commercial basis.  The benefits deriving from the project will include employment opportunities throughout the production and supply chains and an increased supply of better value, high quality protein into Blantyre and its peri-urban markets, while directly and indirectly supporting the livelihoods of some of the poorer but entrepreneurial individuals in Malawi.  The University of Stirling’s world-leading Institute of Aquaculture is a key partner in this project.