Case Studies

Camellia Donation Supports New Antenatal Wing at Mulanje Mission Hospital

Mulanje Mission Hospital in the South East of Malawi sits close to Mount Mulanje and Eastern produce Malawi tea estates. Founded at the end of the 19th century the hospital initially opened as a maternity clinic in 1928. Over the years it has been developed into a well-known hospital owned by Blantyre Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP).


Mulanje Mission Hospital has been renovating and refurbishing wards to provide better quality services for patients over the last decade. In 2016 plans were set out to renovate and expand the antenatal ward and antenatal clinic. The plans would enable the Mulanje Mission Hospital to provide new services and improve care of women with complications of pregnancy and women in early labour.

With facilities at Mulanje District Hospital already overstretched patients are often referred to MMH for operations or care of complex cases. MMH Management discussed urgent needs for renovation including the waiting area being dilapidated, only one small examination room available, too few beds, and no dedicated toilet facilities for the ward or room for antenatal scanning.

Malawi has a high maternal mortality rate, one of the highest in the world and interventions to improve antenatal care and the care of women in labour are a high priority in the Malawi Health Sector Strategic Plan. Through improvement of facilities at MMH the Mission aimed to encourage women to attend antenatal care and to attend hospital in early labour, leading to improved maternity outcomes.


Camellia Plc and The Camellia Foundation have jointly donated £20,000 towards the development along with contributions from Global Affairs Canada and MMH, the English Reformed Church in Amsterdam. Building work finished in October 2016 followed by a period of staff training and development. The ward was officially opened by Gideon Mothisa, HR Manager at Eastern Produce Malawi (a Camellia Plc group company) on the 13th March 2017.

“Both we and the Foundation are delighted to have had the opportunity to support this project. Antenatal care is clearly in need of support in this region and we are pleased to be able to contribute to a project which will benefit the local women so directly. “

Tom Franks, CEO, Camellia Plc


The project includes a new purpose-designed clinic area for modern antenatal care including an examination room for doctors and midwives and a scanning room for ultrasound. The current waiting area for antenatal patients has been replaced by a ward providing evidence based care for pregnancy complications and women in early labour. The nurses and midwives have also been provided with additional training and the number of beds available has increased from 8 to 19 with dedicated toilets and showers for the ward.

Dr Shakespeare, Medical Director at Mulanje Mission Hospital, said

" we are very grateful to Camellia plc and The Camellia Foundation for supporting this development which will improve the care of pregnant women in Mulanje, and help us to further reduce maternal mortality and neonatal mortality in line with global goals"

Our 2021 Annual Report is now available.