In addition to meeting with dental staff in Lilongwe and Blantyre, Jeremy Bagg was also shown around the College of Medicine campus in Blantyre by Mwapatsa Mipando.
The University of Malawi College of Medicine (COM) was established in 1991. Initially it delivered only undergraduate medical training, but now includes in its portfolio undergraduate physiotherapy, pharmacy, medical laboratory sciences, health management, and a BSc for Clinical Officers. It also delivers clinical postgraduate programmes, Master’s degrees and PhDs.
The College of Medicine is the only medical school in Malawi to train manpower for the Ministry of Health. Other stakeholders include Non-Governmental Organisations and the Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) which run faith based hospitals. Since the College of Medicine opened there has been a vastly increased number of doctors and other health professionals in the country.
The College of Medicine has also developed a strong research profile with international research affiliates, including the University of Glasgow, Malawi-Liverpool-Welcome (http://www.mlw.mw/index.php/about-us/background.html), https://www.jhsph.edu/research/affiliated-programs/malawi-college-of-medicine-johns-hopkins-research-project/index.htm), Research Support Centre (http://www.rsc.medcol.mw), and Malaria Alert Centre (https://www.gatesmalariapartnership.org/partners/com).
The successes of the COM are partly captured in the following publications: https://www.bmj.com/content/325/7360/384.full , https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2681051/,
The College of Medicine, therefore, provides a strong platform of medical training upon which to build the dental programme with shared faculty and resources.
Here are some pictures of the Blantyre campus:
Views of the campus from the Library