Located in southern Africa, Malawi is home to just under 14 million people, 72 percent of whom live in poverty. In 2010, Malawi was ranked 153rd in the Human Development Index and as of 2007, life expectancy at birth was only 44 years. The people of Malawi contend with numerous health and economic challenges.
While the public sector is the largest provider of health services, approximately 40 percent of services are provided by private providers (nonprofits, for-profit entities, and professional associations). The Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) provides approximately 37 percent of the health care in the country. The participation of private providers is critical to expand access to essential health services in Malawi, especially in rural areas.