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April 18, 2013 | Africa: Malawi

Malawi Offers Healthy Athletes in 8 Villages over 4 Days

By Karl Hejlik

Volunteer health care providers braved rainstorms and logistical challenges in order to reach Special Olympics athletes in the Mchinji district of Malawi and offer them Opening Eyes, Special Smiles, and Health Promotion screenings. Between March 29 and April 1, more than 120 athletes were screened in each discipline. Many of these athletes had never seen a doctor before, and many were referred to hospitals in the district or the capital city of Lilongwe. In addition to universal health issues like dental cavities, many athletes suffered from conditions not commonly seen in other countries such as skin infections and hearing problems resulting from prolonged meningitis attacks.

Special Olympics Malawi is one of 14 programs designated as a Healthy Community by Special Olympics due to its dedication to expanding health services to its athletes. The Program has conducted additional, similar travelling Healthy Athletes events in the central and southern regions of the country in April.

About Karl Hejlik: Senior Manager, Health and Reseach Communications

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