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The Lilongwe Medical Relief Fund Trust was founded in 2002 as a service and charitable arm of UNC Project with the overall aim of providing service that will improve health of the people of Malawi. The trust started with providing PMTCT implementation service in Lilongwe District and later started providing technical support to almost all health centers in Lilongwe.

The following are objectives of the Trust:

  • To contribute to the improvement of the health of the people of Malawi;
  • To contribute to the enhancement of the capacity of the public health sector in Malawi.
  • Through targeted health messaging, to increase both community health literacy on available preventive and clinical services and the utilization of those services in project partner communities;
  • To enhance local community capacity to identify and act on issues concerning the spread and prevention of HIV/AIDS by providing skills in community research and the development of health messaging;
  • To facilitate better communication between clinical personnel and community members in partner communities through increased interaction.

Between 2011 and 2014, LMRTF was responsible for the management of a USAID funded $8 million 3-year implementation project in Malawi called Safeguard the Family. This grant oversaw the rapid scale up of PMTCT services in Lilongwe District and in the supervision of more than 130 PMTCT sites in five districts in the Central West zone.

Other projects that LMRFT has implemented over the years include the following: Promoting Retention and Quality Services Over the Continuum of Care in Lilongwe (2013 – 2015), Implementation of immediate postpartum implant and intrauterine device insertion at 8 health facilities across 5 districts in Malawi (2014-2015), Children’s Safe Drinking Water (2011 – 2016 ), Adherence support Models to Reduce Resistance in Option B + (2012 – 2015), Integration Case Study (2014), Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (2012 – 2014), PMTCT Uptake and Retention in Malawi (2013 – 2016), Evaluating a Combination HIV Prevention and Sexual and Reproductive Health Package for at-risk Young Women: A Demonstration Project (2015 -2017), OB Philanthropic Account for construction of Prenatal ward & Labor Ward UNC –Chapel Hill (2014 – 2015) and AIDS Malignancy Consortium Startup Funds (2016).

Some of the health facilities that have benefited from LMRFT through renovation of various facilities include the following: Kasinje Health Centre in Ntcheu, Dowa District Hospital, Nalunga, Mwangala and Mvera Mission health centres in Dowa, Kapanga Health Centre in Mchinji, Dedza District Hospital, Kabudula Health Centre and Bwaila District Hospital in Lilongwe.

Under LMRFT, new maternity waiting homes have also been constructed at Area 25 Health Centre in Lilongwe and Kasungu District Hospital. These facilities are aimed are enabling expectant women to report and wait at the health centre for some days until they deliver with professional health service and as such reduce maternal and neonatal morbidity.