Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Malawi is a poor country with few doctors. It has 21 district hospitals, all of which have operating theatres but none of which has a surgeon. Most district hospitals are manned by a single doctor and two or more paramedic clinical officers. In 2003, a total of 28,594 operations were performed in district hospitals. In all, 12,506 (44%) of these were obstetric or gynaecological procedures, but only 821 (3%) were general surgical cases. It appears that district clinicians are happy to attempt emergency obstetric and gynaecological cases but tend to refer emergency general surgical cases.

Original publication




Journal article


Trop Doct

Publication Date





158 - 160


Cesarean Section, Dilatation and Curettage, Female, Health Care Surveys, Hospitals, District, Humans, Malawi, Surgical Procedures, Operative