Facilities and Health Information
Medical facilities in Malawi are rudimentary and do not meet U.S. standards of medical care. While all health workers have some degree of English proficiency, communication can still be difficult. Medications are not consistently available and many U.S. medications are not available at all. Travelers should bring adequate quantities of medications to last the duration of their stay. For any major medical problems you should consider obtaining medical treatment in South Africa, where advanced medical care is available.
Diarrhea and other food borne illnesses are a common problem among travelers. We urge you to avoid tap water, ice cubes, and raw fruits and vegetables. Bottled water is recommended for drinking and food preparation. Only food that is well-cooked and served hot should be consumed.
Malaria is a potentially life-threatening disorder that is endemic to Malawi. Malaria prophylaxis is strongly advised and should be initiated prior to arriving in Malawi. Consult your doctor to learn which prophylaxis is best for you, and review possible side effects. In addition, other measures such as the use of insect repellents and mosquito nets help to reduce the risk of malaria. If you become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area, or up to one-year after returning home, you should seek prompt medical attention and tell your doctor your travel history and what anti-malarial medications you have been taking.
Schistosomiasis (also known as Bilharzia) is present in most lakes and rivers in Malawi, including Lake Malawi. We recommends against swimming, wading or bathing in fresh water.
HIV infection is endemic in the Malawian population. Please take appropriate precautions to limit the risk of transmission through blood or sexual contact.
Drinking Water Source - % of rural population improved
Drinking Water Source - % of total population unimproved
Drinking Water Source - % of urban population improved
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population
People Living with HIV/AIDS
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population
Sanitation Facility Access - % of total population unimproved
Sanitation Facility Access - % of urban population improved
Sanitation Facility Access - % of rural population improved
Infectious Diseases - degree of risk
Animal Contact Disease (s)
Food or Waterborne Disease (s)
bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne Disease (s)
malaria and dengue fever
Water contact disease (s)