Planning your elective: Malawi
Mark Wilson gives the basic facts about Malawi
- By: Mark Wilson
Until the early 1990s, Malawi had been under the dictatorship of Hastings Banda, a general practitioner, who practised in the United Kingdom and then went back to his own country and proclaimed himself president for life. It was a harsh time for the people: imprisonment without trial and other human rights abuses were common. Since 1994, however, democratic elections have been held. The country itself is beautiful. Its most prominent feature, Lake Malawi, supports a sizeable fishing industry.
British passport holders do not need a visa to visit Malawi for stays of up to three months. The rainy season is in the winter (December to March), and this is also when it is hottest. Malawi is a pretty safe country to travel in. Hitchhiking is usually fine if you are with someone else.
Vaccinations for polio, hepatitis A and B, and typhoid are all essential if you are working clinically.