AMECA and a Maternity Unit

AMECA is an organisation which specialises in heathcare support in Malawi. It is run by Ruthie Markus, an Epsom Rotarian.

 See AMECA home page


Founded in December 2006 by Ruth Markus, in memory of her only child, Alex, AMECA is committed to healthcare delivery, training and education in sub-Saharan African countries. After ten years of supporting the Malawi people with healthcare and collecting funds, AMECA succeeded in building its first clinic at Chilaweni in 2017.  This was built to on time and to budget, an amazing achievement in!

In 2017, the charity built and equipped a primary healthcare clinic, three staff houses and funded an ambulance;AMECA also provided a solar powered bore hole and funded mains power to be brought to the area for the benefit of the community and the clinic.The AMECA Clinic, serving a community of eleven surrounding villages, is staffed and run by The Blantyre District Health Department; the charity will maintain oversight and support when and if appropriate.

Consultant General Surgeon Paul Thomas is the Clinical Director of AMECA.  Paul works in Malawi during his leave, providing clinical oversight of the charity’s initiatives and undertaking surgical training in rural district hospitals for Malawi’s under resourced and overstretched healthcare service. Malawi has only 16 surgeons for approximately 16 million people; the majority of operations are performed by clinical officers. Surgical volunteers are self-funding, resulting in a low cost, high impact sustainable training initiative for the resource deprived rural communities. Ruth Markus, Ameca’s founder, has been working half time in Malawi for the last 9 years.  She too funds herself. 


It was evident that there was a need in the Chilaweni area for a maternity unit to complement the clinic.  A needs assessment was carried out by a local company which showed both the need for the maternity unit  and also gave direction as to the facilities which would be needed.   Epsom Rotary and some other local clubs saw the report and began to support this further project.  At the start we provided bicycle ambulances to transport the heavily pregnant mothers to the existing clinic  and these continue to be in high demand.  Ruthie Markus started a fund-raising drive with charitable donations from companies in Europe and work was soon underway to build the new clinic, plus two houses for the staff.  The work was completed in October 2020.  Local Rotary clubs have provided further funds to initiate a training scheme for the the maternity unit staff and support staff in the local villages.  This training is vital to ensure that fullest and best use is made of the maternity unit.

Back to the main clinic

It is evident that the training needs of the first clinic now need to be addressed and this is the direction of the current work. It is some time since they were given a concentrated training programme and this will now be re-emphasised with the District Health Office

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