Malawi has only 300 trained doctors working in the entire country, which has a total population of over 18 million, non-governmental organisation ActionAid International has revealed.
Malawi24 reported that with the current ratio, one doctor was expected to treat almost 60 000 people, which gave Malawi one of the highest doctor-to-patient ratios in the world.
ActionAid said this was one of the reasons why the mortality rate in Malawi was high.
“Malawi is under a strong grip of a healthcare crisis. There are only around 300 doctors in the entire country,” Anders Dahlbeck, ActionAid’s Tax Justice Policy Advisor, said.
ActionAid said the crisis was exacerbated by the fact that the country’s healthcare remained underfunded, as companies from Britain and other countries were not paying corporate tax because of outdated colonial laws.
In 1955, Britain signed a treaty with Malawi that gave British companies a tax break in Malawi for eternity.
Malawi became independent in 1964, which made most colonial treaties invalid.
“If companies paid their fair share of tax, investment in public services could be increased so that women and girls no longer pay the price,” ActionAid said.
Reports last week said that one of the hospitals in the country had stopped administering some drugs to cancer patients as they needed to be administered by well-trained doctors.