ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Suffering of The Children of Malawi

Updated on July 23, 2012

Who's to Blame?

Children in Malawi are suffering due a myriad of reasons. The greatest reason for this is the fact that those in charge seem to not care. The blame game is played here just like everywhere else in the world. The agencies blame the government, the government blames each individual agency. It's a nasty cycle that seems to have no end in sight.


Living Conditions

Malawi, being one of the poorest countries in the world is beset by poverty, disease, drought and famine. On top of these hardships the children are victim to the lack of child labor laws, homelessness and a general nonchalance by authorities that makes their living conditions even worse.


Drought - Running out of Food

Drought is rampant in Malawi and every child is suffering as the drought magnifies the hunger. Malnutrition is a huge cause of death among children especially since the food from the last disastrous crop of food ran out. When the rains come to this tiny country there is just barely enough food to feed the people and when there is no rain, no food. No rain and the bottom drops out, any food stores disappear and people start scrounging for anything edible like berries or leaves. Due to the drought malnutrition is widespread and malnourished children have compromised immune systems and can't fight off diseases.


Infectious Diseases

Disease is another factor for child suffering in Malawi. The list of infectious diseases in Malawi is astounding. All of the following have a very high risk. Bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever these are food or waterborne. Malaria and plague are vector borne. Schistosomiasis (pronounced shis-tuh-soh-mahy-uh-sis) also know as snail fever is a water contact disease. This means all they have to do in come into contact with the contaminated water. And surprisingly rabies, which had an upsurge in 2009, is transferred by animals to humans. These are just some of the diseases that affect Malawi. Another terrible disease, HIV, the virus that causes AIDS infects about 65,000 children. And although the antiretroviral program delivers it free to the adults it hasn't yet filtered down to the children. Those children who don't have HIV usually have parents with the virus and this is nearly as deadly.


Child Labor

Child labor is a great factor in the suffering of children in Malawi. Having to work in horrible conditions for a mere pittance influences the children’s suffering. Tobacco poisoning is a huge health risk for the children of Malawi. There are as many as many as 78,000 children working in the tobacco fields working from early morning till late at night. For 12 hours of limitless work these children earn an average of R1,20. These children, some of them only 5 years old, handle the tobacco leaves, breathe in the dust from those dried leaves and even apply pesticides to the crops. If there happens to be moisture on the leaves, the moisture is then transferred to the clothing and it essentially becomes a giant nicotine patch. They do this without protective clothing which means they can absorb through their skin as much as 54 milligrams of dissolved nicotine which is the equivalent of smoking 50 cigarettes daily. This results in GTS, or green tobacco sickness, which has symptoms that includes abdominal pain, severe headaches, muscle weakness, coughing and breathlessness.


There are a great many elements to the suffering of a child in Malawi. All of these combine to compound suffering that the Malawi children endure. The world as a whole needs to take a great interest in what is going on in Malawi before this blight spreads to the rest of the world.

Working in Tobacco Fields


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)