Blantyre Travel Answers

change location

change of lifestyle

by exiler Online Now Nov 18, 2012 at 11:24 AM

I am planning to move to Blantyre next year which is where my partner is from. I would like to know what the town and healthcare are like please.

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  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Re: change of lifestyle

    by CatherineReichardt Online Now Nov 19, 2012 at 5:38 AM

    With the best will in the world, it's impossible to provide you with relevant advice if we know nothing about where you come from and on what basis you are relocating. Most importantly, are you relocating on an expat basis, or are you intending to live as a 'local', as this will make a very big difference?
    I would have thought that the best person to advise you about Blantyre would be your partner if it's their hometown? Anyway, it's a small, colonial town with a fairly small expat population that is charming in a retro sort of way, but - like most of Malawi - rather rundown. I prefer it to Lilongwe, but then I've always been there as a tourist, which is a very different experience to living there.
    Malawian healthcare is typical of an impoverished Third World country - it may be staffed with dedicated, well intentioned doctors and nurses, but they are hopelessly under resourced and conditions are likely to be very basic and focused at primary healthcare, with both medical equipment and pharmaceuticals being in short supply. If you are coming from a first world country and/or have particular need of specialised healthcare services (eg. you are suffering from a chronic condition), you're probably in for a major shock.
    This is where your immigration status becomes so important, as expats would usually specify private healthcare coverage as part of their package. Even so, private facilities are still very thin on the ground - most of these are likely to be located in Lilongwe, where there is the greatest concentration of wealthy Malawians and expats who can afford private healthcare, and for serious conditions, it is likely that you would have to seek specialist healthcare in other countries such as Kenya or South Africa (again, most expat contracts should make allowance for this).

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