Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) is an association of Church-owned health facilities and training colleges in Malawi. CHAM is co-owned by the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) and the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC). For more than half a century, ECM and MCC have provided healthcare services and trained healthcare professionals in Malawi, with a special focus on providing care to the poor and underserved.
In the mid-20th century, ECM and MCC realized the potential of partnership in their mission to expand health access in Malawi. On 1 December 1966, ECM and MCC registered the Private Hospital Association of Malawi (PHAM), under the Trustees Incorporation Act. PHAM was founded to help coordinate church-supported and church-owned healthcare services and training organizations so that such organizations could build upon one another’s strengths in order to provide the highest quality care possible throughout Malawi. PHAM’s goals are consistent with CHAM’s current goals: to coordinate, facilitate, provide technical support and develop health services among all members in order to provide quality health care and in all matters act for the benefit of the people of Malawi.
Since its founding, CHAM has provided critical care and preventive services to millions of Malawians through its network of over 190 health facilities and 11 training colleges. Currently, CHAM provides about 37% of health care services in Malawi. Because of the mission calling for the Churches, CHAM health facilities are predominantly located in rural areas where they promote equity in access to health care. In Malawi’s rural and hard-to-reach areas, CHAM provides over 75% of health services.
In the past 50 years, CHAM training colleges have expanded to offer more training programs with more student spots. These colleges train about 80% of mid-level healthcare workers in Malawi. This significant effort in capacity building has helped to create notable reductions in the healthcare practitioner-to-patient ratio in Malawi. Learn more about CHAM’s impact.
In order to reflect the Christian identity as well as the holistic focus on health, the name was changed from PHAM to CHAM, Christian Health Association of Malawi, on 28th February 1992. On 29 May 2005 CHAM was also registered as a non-governmental organization under the NGO Board of Malawi.
In the past 20 years, CHAM has become a key partner to the Government of Malawi. CHAM works with the Ministry of Health in implementing the Health Sector Strategic Plan, including delivery of the Essential Health Package, training of human resources for health, and in other sector-wide initiatives. CHAM has also implemented and continues to implement many successful projects in its health units, increasing access to primary and specialized care.