Sheffmed are proud to support Malawi’s national development plan for ear care. Through regular visits to the region we are able to assess and respond to the needs for equipment and training. It is our long term goal to ensure this project succeeds and can be replicated in other African countries.
Historical Background to Ear & Hearing Care in Malawi.
Prior to Dr Mulwafu’s appointment in 2007 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital as the only ENT Surgeon in the country, visiting ENT surgeons from different African and European countries provided some ENT training to medical students. They also conducted a limited number of mostly minor surgeries.
Two schools have been developed where 300 deaf and hard of hearing children were educated, together with two rescue centres where a further 50 children could be helped. At the Montfort College in Blantyre, 30 teachers per year received training in the education of children with a hearing impairment.
The Malawi Health Service employs predominantly Clinical Officers to form the core of health service provision, but they lack specialised ENT training and equipment.
Strategy: Training of Malawians in Malawi through dedicated Malawian Training Courses
Training of 15 CO’s every 18 months in the diploma course of ENT & Audiology.
Based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre, this is the first ever course to be established in Malawi. The philosophy of this plan is that ideally Malawians should be trained in Malawi in a way that best responds to the unique strengths, abilities and challenges of Malawi.
Each course consists of six semesters spread over 18 months. Selection of clinical officers for the course is carried out with the expectation that each graduate will return to the District Hospital that releases them to the course and set up a new clinic for ENT & Audiology. It is also anticipated that some graduates will remain for a time at the Central Hospitals to use their new skills to help consolidate the clinics there into centres of Excellence.
Outcome/s: new ENT & Audiology Clinics all across Malawi and centres of Excellence being developed by these graduates will hugely increase access to services in Malawi.
Design and Implementation of new training courses for ENT Surgeon.
Within the first few years of the plan, medical doctors will be sent to Nairobi University, however, discussion will be lead to the design and implementation of a Malawian Training Course for ENT Surgeons
Outcome/s: Cost-effective in-country programme hugely increases access to treatment in Malawi.
ENT & Audiology Clinical Officers
ENTCO are clinical officers who have undergone an 18-month training course in ENT & Audiology and are awarded a diploma.
There are currently just two practicing ENT Nurses that have had on the job training, but there is presently no capacity to deliver a formal ENT nursing training programme in Malawi. It is therefore essential to identify training institutions outside the country and suitable candidates to be trained.
Only two Government Central Hospitals, Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre have dedicated ENT Departments. A survey of all District Hospitals for facilities available is essential.
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