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Medical Know-How for Malawi
Integrated expert
Dr. Tarek Meguid
E-Mail: tarek.meguid@cimonline.de
Bwaila Hospital/Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH)

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Gynaecologist Dr Tarek Meguid at his desk in Malawi surrounded by red patient files. Photo: Toby Binder.
The context As one of the poorest economies in the world, it comes as no surprise that Malawi occupies first place among nations at peace for its maternal mortality rate.
Objective Safe, often life-saving childbirth under conditions consistent with human dignity is to be made possible also for women who cannot afford to pay for hospital care.
CIM assignment As one of only three gynaecologists at Bwaila Hospital, Dr Tarek Meguid of Stuttgart, Germany, helps deliver 12,000 babies each year. He supports the introduction of medical standards and the expansion of the maternity ward.

The maternity ward at Bottom Hospital near the "old town" of Lilongwe is a simple L-shaped brick structure built for the local people in 1936 under English colonial rule. It has been officially renamed Bwaila Hospital, yet even today it is only the poorest of the poor who continue to come here to bear their children. The hospital delivery room is Dr Tarek Meguid's place of work. It is his job as a gynaecologist and CIM expert to care for the 30 to 40 women who give birth here each day. He not only provides actual medical assistance: he also attempts to raise the problems of medical care to the political level and thus to bring about long-term improvement of the situation. In Malawi there are only 13 gynaecologists for 12 million inhabitants. Much gynaecological / obstetrical work is carried out by "clinical officers" who take on medical care and medical specialist tasks without having a medical degree. In the capital, four million women are under the care of three gynaecologists, who deliver 12,000 children each year. Thus in addition to his normal activities as a gynaecologist and obstetrician, Dr Meguid's tasks include the training of interns both students and doctors. According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, some 1,800 out of 100,000 pregnant women in Malawi do not survive childbirth. In Germany, in our time, only nine women per 100,000 die in childbirth. The current numbers in Malawi are nearly as horrifying as European figures in the Middle Ages. Added to the traditionally low status of girls and women in African society, a major problem is the emigration of medical experts to other countries.