I didn’t know much about Malawi until today. Sum total of my knowledge was that Steve Harley once took a fancy to an ape there who kissed his head and his eyes went all starry and that was about it. As I say, until today.
Then the phone rang with a journo on the other end saying he’d had some information from the World Health Organisation (and I refuse to put a z in that last word, even if it is truer to the original Olde English) saying that there are more Malawian doctors working in Manchester than there are working in Malawi.
The thing was, they hadn’t included any figures to corroborate their assertion and could I help. Just how many Malawian doctors are there in Manchester? Somewhat flummoxed, I made confident noises and said I’d get back to him.
After a couple of phone calls of my own, it was back to the WHO website. Malawi:
Malawi faces the triple threat of HIV/AIDS, food insecurity and weak government structures. The country ranks 83 out of 95 on the UNDP Human Poverty Index scale, has the 4th lowest GDP in the world and very high HIV/AIDS prevalence. It is prone to droughts as well as floods and every year it needs thousands of tonnes of food aid.
Droughts and floods? Malawi twinned with London then.
Back to the doctor claim, all we (the NHS) have is information about ethinicty, but not by nationality. We know which doctors consider themselves African (no pun intended) or Asian or Chinese etc, but not which country they come from. And if we don’t, how does WHO? Sounds like one of those 93% of all statistics are made-up stories.
Meanwhile, I know more about Malawi, at least enough to scratch it from my list of ‘100 Places to Visit Before You Die and You Will Die.’ But I’ll bet Bono and Saint Bob love the place.
Oh, and they have a flag that looks like Coco the Clown having a pee behind a red and green wall. (See above)