Wandikweza is a community health organization providing access to quality health care to over 325,000 ultra-poor Malawians in rural communities through preventive and proactive care. The Wandikweza Health Center is a headquarters for nurses and community health workers who provide life-saving home-based services, rapid response maternal care, and mobile clinics in remote areas.
Why Their Work Matters: Over 50% of Malawians living in poverty and in remote areas face acute challenges in accessing quality healthcare and leading healthy lives. Thousands of unnecessary deaths occur each year due to cost, knowledge deficit, distance, inadequate human resources, and the non-availability of health facilities. Wandikweza works to accelerate progress towards Universal Health Coverage in Malawi by removing these crippling barriers to healthcare.
- 20% drop in decongestion at public health facilites. Through mobile clinics, Wandikweza has reached over 15,000 people. The clinic takes basic medical care to people for whom it is otherwise out of reach, due to long distances or difficult geographical terrain.
- 80,000+ patients received holistic and timely care provided by community health workers
- 25,000+ home visits have been performed. Treatments range from active case finding, diagnosis, treatment, follow up or referral to public health facilities
- 3,002 patients served by Nurses on a Bike. This service enables patients to recover from an acute episode of illness, thus avoiding the need for a hospital or admission. They work as part of community health workers and specifically provided 457 maternal and child health care home visits.
- Wandikweza’s multidimensional and participatory approach to health care empowers existing individual and neighborhood assets, equipping community members to build healthy and prosperous livelihoods on their own terms.
Mercy Kafotokoza’s passion for preventive care and disease prevention prompted her to start Wandikweza, a community-led organization determined to improve access to health care in remote areas. Wandikweza’s community-based model has helped to redefine what’s possible in health care delivery in remote settings, proving that diseases that stalk underserved populations can be effectively treated.
Prior to that, Mercy used her skills and expertise in nursing and public health to develop and implement country-wide programs for the Methodist Church. As Conference Health Coordinator, she created community-based healthcare strategies focusing on:
- Water and sanitation
- Malaria control
- Early childhood development
Mercy’s insightful methods identify innovative, culturally acceptable and affordable means to improve the health of the people of Malawi. Her ability to develop and launch new programs has earned her the respect and admiration of all who work with her. Understanding the value of collaboration, Mercy has extensively utilized indigenous community health workers in supporting Wandikweza’s programs and in developing solutions through public and private partnerships.
Mercy has 13 years of experience working in remote areas. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Africa University and a Master of Health from Walden University.