Coffs Coast local supporting health service delivery in Malawi

Peter Bishop is setting up a website for the Thyolo Health district in Malawi.


PETER Bishop finds it slightly ironic that he is helping health services in another country, because he ran a successful web and graphic design business in Coffs up to 2012 until his own mental health issues led to its demise.

After realising that he needed help, Mr Bishop found that following his doctors’ advice led to his recovery.

A little while ago, he met Bryan Ngaleka on an online pen pals website.

Mr Ngaleka is a District Health Officer for the Thyolo Health District in Malawi, a country on the east side of Africa, bordered by Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia.

Malawi is one of the world’s least developed countries with around 85 percent of the population living in rural areas.

Mr Ngaleka wanted to become involved in graphic design and also learn about website design.

Mr Bishop offered to teach him and help him earn a qualification.

SInce then, the pair have combined to deliver the The Thyolo Health Services website, which features an all-in-one integrated online marketing platform, and is the first human services website to be developed for the Government of Malawi.

The Thyolo website aims to connect hospitals and health centres and make basic health information available to people.

The site is projected to significantly improve access to healthcare for more than 600,000 residents in Malawi.

Mr Ngaleka hopes there will be an official launch when the website is ready to go live.

Mr Ngaleka now takes the photos for the website and does much of the design with Mr Bishop mentoring him.

Mr Bishop said that Malawi citizens have access to Facebook and other social media but there are not many business websites.

While Mr Bishop is rebuilding his business in Coffs Harbour, he is helping Thyolo people for free.

He said that he understands how fortunate he is and that helping out helps his own health.

He said that anyone who is struggling with mental health issues should talk with their doctor and follow their advice.


By Andrew VIVIAN

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