Palliative care


In Malawi, where an estimated 980,000 people are living with HIV, we run projects to support efforts to combat the virus.

Malawi’s massive budget deficit has hit the health system hard. In addition, international donors have withheld budget support since 2014 due to corruption scandals.

In Nsanje district, we support the severely underfunded district management team in running a fully decentralised HIV and tuberculosis (TB) programme that includes infants newly diagnosed with HIV. We also support in providing care for patients with advanced HIV in the district hospital, and healthcare for truck drivers and sex workers.

We are also developing a comprehensive programme to screen, diagnose and treat cervical cancer, which accounts for 40 per cent of all cancers among women in Malawi and kills an estimated 2,314 a year.

MSF teams are currently responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in Malawi.

Our activities in 2021 in Malawi

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2021.

MSF in Malawi in 2021 Despite progress in tackling HIV, prevalence remains high in Malawi. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continues to run programmes to improve care for HIV patients, and for women with cervical cancer.

In Chiradzulu district, in southern Malawi, MSF focuses on increasing early detection of HIV and improving care for people who need enhanced monitoring and specialist treatment, such as patients presenting with a high viral load or those suffering from mental health conditions, co-infections (including tuberculosis), or malnutrition. We also support the Ministry of Health by following up severely sick and advanced HIV patients during their stay at Boma hospital and post-discharge. 

MSF continues to run dedicated Saturday ‘teen clubs’, which offer HIV screening, care, follow-up and psychological support for younger patients. Attendance at these clubs, which provide a safe, friendly space where teenagers can benefit from peer support, has been shown to enhance adherence to treatment and a patient’s overall wellbeing. 

In Blantyre district, Malawi’s main economic hub, in close collaboration with the Malawian Ministry of Health, we have developed a comprehensive oncological programme to screen, diagnose and treat cervical cancer, which accounts for 40 per cent of all cancers among women in Malawi and kills over 2,000 of them each year. Our activities are based in Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the district’s main city and include outpatient treatment for pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions, as well as surgery, chemotherapy and dedicated palliative home-based care for those in the advanced stages of the disease. The cervical cancer screening units are integrated in eight health centres in Blantyre and Chiradzulu districts, where a mobile screening unit is also working.    

In 2021, MSF teams also supported the local health authorities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic at Queen Elizabeth Hospital by providing additional staff, oxygen and medical supplies. 


in 2021
Malawi Floods - Jan 2015

Thousands stranded with little to no food

Voices from the Field 19 Jan 2015
Malawi Floods - Jan 2015

Thousands of flood victims unable to receive aid

Crisis Update 16 Jan 2015
Patients count their pills in a CAG members meeting

Community models of care explained

Project Update 26 Nov 2014
WAD 2014 PORTRAIT - Zimbabwe

Beyond the rhetoric: Implement proven community strategies to fight HIV/AIDS

Press Release 20 Nov 2014
Access to medicines

Pushing the envelope

Report 6 Aug 2014
Mozambique Viral Load

We need a revolution in the delivery of care to beat HIV/Aids

Opinion 18 Jul 2014