Home
Centre for International Health
NORHED

Capacity building in postgraduate surgical training and research in Malawi

In Malawi there is only 1 Malawian surgeon per 1, 75 million people, and only 1 female surgeon in the entire Malawi.

Doctor Gift Mulima is training to become a specialist general surgeon as part of the NORHED project in Malawi.
Doctor Gift Mulima is training to become a specialist general surgeon as part of the NORHED project in Malawi.
Photo:
Sverre Drønen

An estimated 5, 8 million people die of injuries each year, 32 % more than the fatalities that result from malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined. Over 90 % of deaths due to injuries occur in low- and middle income countries (LMICs). For every patients that dies as a result of injuries, many more survive with permanent disability. In young people between the ages of 10 and 24 years, 97 % of all deaths occur in LMICs. Injuries accounting for more than 40 % deaths and road traffic accidents are the most frequent cause.

Training surgeons in Malawi: Traffic accidents - huge burden on the health care system

There is a huge need for human resources in the health sector in Malawi. It is estimated that there is only 1 surgeon per million people in Africa South of Sahara region. In Malawi there is only 1 Malawian surgeon per 1, 75 million people, and only 1 female surgeon in the entire Malawi. 92 % of the established positions for Malawian surgeons are vacant, despite very modest number of positions.

There is a low number of surgical trainees in Malawi. There is a lack of trainers and mentors in-country to correct this. In addition, there is a underfunding of public health system and the training environment is not adequate. Hence, there is a huge unmet need for surgeons in Sub Saharan Africa, including Malawi.

The objectives of the project are

  1. Increased surgical capacity at national level
  2. Strengthen and increase national and regional postgraduate surgical training capacity through locally relevant Masters, PhDs and COSECSA Fellowship training programmes to meet national and regional needs
  3. Strengthen the quality of postgraduate education and research capacity in surgery
  4. Increase and strengthen academic staff at COM
  5. Regional/International collaboration in education and research strengthened
  6. Appropriate infrastructure & equipment to ensure sustainable capacity to educate and research

More on the NORHED webpage (external link).