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October 17, 2018

[Volunteer Report] My First Impression about Malawi

Name: Aya Kawakami
Technical Field: Physical Therapy
Recipient Organization: Mzuzu Central Hospital, Mzuzu

It has been one month since I arrived in Malawi. My first impression about Malawi is very different from the one I had in Japan before arrival.

Firstly, the kindness of people of Malawi made me impressed. For example, when I lost a direction on the street, one Malawian kindly took me to my destination with enduring my poor local language. In my workplace in the hospital, I realized that a family is always together with the patient even while seeing the doctor and during admission at the hospital. I think Malawian families have a closer relationship than Japanese families. Some Japanese tend to hesitate to ask even their family to help because of not to bother them.

On the other hand, I noticed an economic gap among Malawian patients. Some are able to commute to hospitals regularly for rehabilitation services by using their private cars. Others are hard to commute to hospitals even by public transport and are not able to receive adequate medical care because of financial difficulties to access proper hospital services.

After being dispatched to Mzuzu Central Hospital, I have encountered a lot of surprising scenes as compared with Japan but have accepted them as difference. I am interested in Malawi very much. I'll keep learning Malawi and work with Malawian health workers to contribute to better health service.

PhotoLanguage training in Lilongwe with volunteers from my batch and local language teachers

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