Malawi has internationally been recognised as one of nice places to be a mother because few children die, according to a report by Save the Children UK.
A BBC report says Malawi has pulled surprises on how it has improved on child mortality, saying this shows that wealth is not the sole criterion for a nation's position in the survey.
"...a poor country like Malawi has done significantly better than might have been expected for one key reason: children are breastfed by their mothers within an hour of their birth and continue to be breastfed for up to two years," says the BBC report.
Information googled from Save the Children UK website shows that Malawi has demonstrated how a country's health worker gap can best be filled by developing a national health workforce plan and budget that is then supported by donors.
"Malawi's Emergency Human Resources Programme (EHRP) increased the health workforce by 53% between 2004 and 2009, saving an estimated 13,000 lives," says the information.
The information says the plan consisted of five interventions that addressed the country's long-term health worker needs, while also implementing temporary measures that met immediate needs; improving incentives through a 50% salary top-up for 11 different types of health worker, along with new recruitment and re-engagement strategies, expanding training capacity to double the number of nurses and treble the number of doctors who could be trained.
Others are using international volunteer doctors and nurse tutors in the short-term while large scale training was taking place, strengthening the ministry of health's ability to plan, manage and develop human resources and developing health-management information systems to monitor and evaluate human resource capacity.
The BBC report says the West African state of Niger is the worst place in the world to be a mother.
The ranking comes in the charity's annual index which compares conditions for mothers in 165 countries.
It considers a number of factors including health, education, economic status and nutrition.
Niger is severely affected by a regional food crisis. It replaces Afghanistan at the bottom of the Save the Children Index.
After two years at the bottom of the list, Afghanistan has moved up a notch. This is credited to greater investment in front-line health workers.
The food crisis developing in the Sahel region is threatening the lives of up to a million youngsters, Save the Children says.
The index rankings show the worst places are Niger, Afghanistan, Yemen, Guinea-Bissau and Mali whilst the best places to be a mother are Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark.
The charity describes how chronic malnutrition leads mothers, who themselves have been stunted in childhood, to go on to have underweight and vulnerable babies.
It warns that if a mother is "impoverished, overworked, poorly educated and in poor health, she may not be able to feed the baby adequately, with largely irreversible effects".