The private sector’s role in health services has been increasing recently in Malawi, and it currently provides approximately 40 percent of health services in the country. The Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) project undertook a private provider mapping exercise to describe the size, scope, and geographic distribution of private health providers in the country. As part of the mapping, SHOPS collected data on provider characteristics and services offered, and asked providers to identify obstacles to expanding their businesses.
SHOPS worked with national health regulatory bodies and private provider associations to develop a comprehensive and current list of all private health care facilities in Malawi that was supplemented with snowball sampling during data collection. The goal of the exercise was to survey as many facility owners, private providers, and private pharmacists as possible in all 28 districts. Over a three month period, SHOPS interviewed a total of 763 facilities (including 94 pharmacies) and 2,492 providers.