Project HOPE Leadership Visits Malawi to Reaffirm Commitment to Improve Health of Vulnerable Communities
A delegation from Project HOPE is visiting Malawi to meet with top health officials in Lilongwe and to visit HOPE program sites in Mulanje.
A delegation from Project HOPE, a global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, is visiting Malawi to meet with top health officials in Lilongwe and to visit HOPE program sites in Mulanje. Members of the group include Project HOPE President and CEO, John P. Howe III, M.D. and HOPE board members George Abercrombie, former President and CEO of pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche, Inc. and Walter Montgomery, CEO of global communications firm RLM Finsbury.
In Malawi, tuberculosis (TB) is a major cause of disease and death, especially among people living with HIV/AIDS. Project HOPE initiated a program in the Mulanje and Phalombe Districts in 2006 to support the National TB Program and to provide education about the disease, including HIV/AIDS and TB co-infection and treatment.
The program has increased awareness of TB through education programs designed to mobilize community leaders and others to better understand the symptoms, diagnosis and treatments available, as well as efforts to eradicate the stigma associated with TB and HIV.
“It’s crucial that we educate communities about TB and help people understand that TB is a treatable disease,” said Rodrick Nalikungwi, Country Director for Project HOPE in Malawi. “Our programs have empowered communities in Malawi to address their medical needs, and, in many cases, to live healthier lives.”
HOPE’s TB treatment success rate in Mulanje and Phalombe increased from 60% to 86% and fatalities from TB decreased from 20% to 11% from 2006 until 2011. An increase in community sputum collection sites and microscopy services also contributed to the program’s success.
HOPE first arrived in Malawi in 1989 to implement HIV/AIDS prevention programs and has expanded its work to include TB and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STI).
“On this visit, we hope to strengthen our relationships with Malawi’s Ministry of Health, our partner organizations and to reaffirm our commitment to help the people of Malawi,” said John P. Howe III, MD, President and CEO of Project HOPE.
Project HOPE currently has a number of active programs in Africa. The organization has recently sent volunteers on medical missions to Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, Togo and Liberia. HOPE also directs ongoing health programs in Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa.
About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health crises, with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now conducts land-based medical training and health education programs in 35 countries across five continents.