Best Investment for a Healthier World


Nursing Scholars and Fellows Bring Quality Care to Malawi's Most Remote Areas

Photo courtesy GAIA Global Health

Photo courtesy GAIA Global Health

GAIA Global Health

For International Nurses Day, and every day, GAIA celebrates its nursing scholars and fellows, and their commitment to treating the people of Malawi.

Nurses are the backbone of healthcare delivery in Malawi. With 55% of nursing positions in public health facilities vacant and only seven nurses per 10,000 people (the United States has 125 nurses per 10,000 people), GAIA is honored to partner with the Ministry of Health, local universities, and health facilities to provide Nursing Scholarships and Nursing Fellowships. 

GAIA has provided scholarships to over 860 nursing students. GAIA scholars are posted in 27 of Malawi’s 28 districts, bringing quality care to the most remote areas. Each GAIA nurse graduate is estimated to provide 300,000 high-quality patient visits over the course of their career. GAIA has also provided 250 fellowships to graduated nurses who bridge the gap of nurses per patient, positively impacting health outcomes for the community. 

Meet Two of GAIA’s Scholars and Fellows

Charity Banda, Nursing Scholar

Christy Banda

Charity Banda is a third year GAIA Nursing Scholar at Nkhoma College where she is studying to earn her Nursing and Midwifery Technician Diploma. Charity is grateful for the guidance of experienced nurse mentors who provide invaluable support in the clinical setting. Their expertise, patience, and encouragement have empowered her to navigate the complexities of patient care with confidence and competence. Through their mentorship, she has also learned the importance of empathy, compassion, and advocacy in nursing practice. Her mentors challenged her to think critically, solve problems creatively, and continually strive for excellence in patient care. Charity shares that “their mentorship has been a cornerstone of my nursing education, shaping my clinical proficiency and instilling in me the values of professionalism and lifelong learning, and has also significantly contributed to my academic success.” 

Mcwyson Wavala, Nursing Fellow

GAIA fellow Mcwyson Wavala is a nurse midwife technician at Namphungo Health Center in Mulanje District, a health facility with a catchment population of 50,188, including 11,543 women of childbearing age who seek services at the facility. Currently Mcwyson serves 120 clients on average per day. When asked what he loves about being a nurse, Mcwyson says, “​​I love being a health worker, especially a nurse because it is a profession that never stops giving and caring, you learn each and every day and there is unlimited growth. It feels good when I see patients improving without any complications. It really gives me courage and motivation that I am providing so much care.” 

Nurses play a pivotal and multifaceted role in health systems, from treating patients to training future health workers. GAIA’s work in Malawi would not be possible without the passion and efforts of nurses and students like Charity and Mcwyson. We commend their work and the work of nurses around the world today and every day.