KUHeS participates in 2023 World Diabetes Day commemorations

KUHeS participates in 2023 World Diabetes Day commemorations

The 14th of November was World Diabetes Day and this year’s World Diabetes Day Commemorations took place at Mpotola Primary School ground in Ntcheu. The theme for this year’s World Diabetes Day was “Know Your Risk, Know Your Response

The Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, under the Moyo Wanga project, participated in the commemorations which were graced by Principal Secretary for Administration in the Ministry of Health Bestone Chisamile.

In support of the remarkable work that the Ministry of Health is doing, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS), with support from UNICEF and USAID has embarked on a country-wide training of Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) to conduct community screenings for Diabetes and Hypertension.

So far, about 8172 HSAs have been trained and each of them is expected to receive a BP Cuff and a Glucometre to use in their catchment areas.

CDH Investment Bank donates 5 million Kwacha towards KUHES Research dissemination conference

CDH Investment Bank has donated five million Kwacha to Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS) in support of the forthcoming 2nd Research Dissemination Conference (RDC). The financial package has been handed over to the university as a way of boosting the preparations for the RDC event to be held from 30th November-1st December 2023. Addressing the press at KUHeS-Blantyre Campus, Chief Business Development Officer, Jamal Kamoto, said CDH Bank is always committed to complementing research and innovative efforts in the corporate and education sector. He said the bank is delighted that KUHeS extended the opportunity to them to contribute to this flagship event and be part of the leading partners of the institution in medical research.

The RDC event is a very important initiative as far as medical research is concerned. We believe health is wealth and we are always committed to promoting efforts that seek to address the wellbeing of Malawians who are our customers. So the package that we have donated towards this event is in line with our corporate social responsibility strategy and I believe it will help in covering some costs of the RDC event. As CDH Bank, we are always open to support medical and research work to advance Malawi’s health sector hence this donation.” Said Kamoto.

Receiving the donation on behalf of the university, Vice Chancellor for KUHeS, Prof. Macpherson Mallewa commends CDH Bank for the support they have pledged towards the event and also sounded an SOS to the corporate world for more financial support. Prof. Mallewa stressed on the need for concerted efforts from all stakeholders if the quest to achieve cutting-edge medical and research innovations is to materialize.

We are very grateful to CDH Bank for the support and we are also calling for more support from stakeholders and the entire corporate world. We had initially budgeted for 130 Million Kwacha but the recent devaluation has forced us to reassess the budget to around 187 million. Through the partnerships we have, we have managed to mobilize reasonable resources but we are lagging behind as our goa is to amass the target funds ahead of schedule. The RDC has been a breeding ground for notable medical breakthroughs. This is an important initiative and the need to work as a team is vital. Hence, we are sounding an SOS to the corporate world to support this event as teamwork is the only way we can achieve higher milestones in medical research.” Said Mallewa.

This year’s RDC will run from 30th November to 1st December under the theme “Tackling the #Malawi 2063 Health Research Priorities through a multidisciplinary approach.” The event will be held at KUHeS Blantyre Campus and will be graced by the Minister of Education Honourable Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima.

Prof. Kamija Phiri Wins EDCTP award

Congratulations to Prof. Kamija Phiri for being awarded the Scientific Leadership Prize from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) on 9th November 2023 in Paris, France during the 2023 EDCTP Forum. The prize is awarded to excellent world-class scientists in sub-Saharan Africa up to 50 years of age working on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected infectious diseases.

Professor Phiri is a clinical Epidemiologist, a senior academic and expert in clinical trials in malaria and its linked major co-morbidity, anemia. He has dedicated his time to building research capacity and testing health technologies to prevent diseases (malaria), which is in line with the EDCTP remit of enhancing research capacity and accelerating the development of new or improved medical interventions for the identification, treatment, and prevention of poverty-related infectious diseases. He has contributed to the development of a new health intervention, dubbed Post-discharge Malaria Chemoprevention (PDMC), that was recently adopted by WHO in the control of malaria.

He has built on concepts discovered during his Ph.D. research of high post-discharge mortality in children recovering from severe anemia to proof-of-principle and confirmatory trials of a preventive intervention (PDMC, see above) leading to policy adoption by WHO as a novel malaria prevention strategy. He now works with MoH in designing PDMC implementation strategies, representing the full cycle of research to policy to practice. PDMC reduces deaths by 77% and readmissions by 58%.

KUHeS students participate in IFMSA

Kamuzu University of Health Sciences Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) students, who are active members of the Medical Students Association in Malawi (MSA Malawi), participated in the recent International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA). The IFMSA event was held recently in India. The delegation consisted of Secretary General of MSA Malawi- Likhitha Mahashiva Bhattu who was also head of the KUHeS delegation, the Local Officer of SCORE (Research Exchange)- Makanaka Wendy Munodawafa and committee member Simbarashe Govore. The primary objective of the event was to engage in a collaborative platform fostering leadership and global perspectives among young medical professionals. The assembly, renowned for its influence, aimed to inspire the next generation of medical leaders through workshops, panel discussions, and networking. This dynamic approach empowered attendees to embrace their roles as future medical leaders and advocate for innovative healthcare solutions. Interactions with diverse peers facilitated knowledge exchange and meaningful connections.

Likhitha, the head of Malawi delegation had the opportunity to present on the activities that happened back in May 2023 during the Mental health awareness month. The activity was a play therapy conducted at Beit Cure International where student volunteers from KUHeS had a session with children undergoing long term treatment to raise awareness on their mental health. She stated, “our aim was to raise awareness about children’s mental health during extended medical treatments through interactive therapy.”

The General Assembly attracted over 600 medical students worldwide, fostering knowledge exchange and collaborative relationships. Attendees actively engaged in activities, including voting on constitutional amendments and decision-making. Social programs like Cultural Night and National Food Party celebrated cultural diversity. The delegation’s highlight was showcasing Medical Students’ Association of Malawi (MSA-MW) accomplishments to peers. This facilitated insights and perspectives sharing, enriching the academic community.

The delegation also interacted with experts and representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), enriching insights into global healthcare dynamics. Notably, the presentation of initiatives by the Medical Students Association of Malawi during the assembly emphasized their commitment to impactful contributions. Kamuzu University’s participation in the IFMSA General Assembly underscores the university’s commitment to nurturing well-rounded medical professionals who drive positive change globally.

KUHeS Participates at the Launch program for Grand Challenges Malawi

Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS) recently participated in the launch program for Grand Challenges Malawi at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe. The launch program was organized by the National Commission for Science and Technology Malawi (NCST) in partnership with national stakeholders, Science for Africa Foundation (SFA) and AUDA-NEPAD. The launch was under the theme “Unlocking strategic investments through collaborative research.” The aim of the program is to support the most creative scientists in Malawi to collaborate with their partners in Africa and globally, to implement research that fosters innovation in solving the most critical development challenges in Malawi and Africa.

The Minister of Education, Hon. Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima, who honored the event with her presence, articulated that the nation anticipates significant advancements in research and innovation. These advancements are poised to address the country’s pressing needs and contribute to Malawi’s journey towards achieving the envisioned status of a middle-income economy by 2063, as outlined in the Malawi 2063 agenda. She further emphasized the unwavering commitment of her Ministry and the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) to provide comprehensive support to all researchers and innovators.

“Malawi aspires to transition into a knowledge-based economy, and the recently inaugurated Grand Challenges will play a pivotal role in realizing this vision.” Said Wirima.

During the launch, KUHeS showcased some of its innovations which were:

  1. Ezecheck Anaemia Screening Device, a non-invasive portable device that can instantly predict the hemoglobin concentration in the human body using the spectrophotometry technique and a mobile application. Users press their thumbs against the device, and a light is reflected onto their skin to detect the concentration of hemoglobin. The results are then displayed through an app.
  2. The Mawi pad device, a non-invasive and inexpensive tool used to monitor heart rate, rhythm, ana potential abnormalities in electrical activity that may indicate heart disease in children under seven. Equipped with a PPG sensor, it uses a light source and a protodetector at the surface of skin to measure the volumetric variations of blood circulation. The PG signal is then sent to an application that processes the data and provides the results.
  3. Proximity Sensors which are RFID tags that are equipped with bi-directional radio intertaces. These tags emit low-power radio packets at different power levels enabling then distance between individuals wearing them and identify the patterns of human social interactions. This provides critical information about contact in communities and related social behaviors linked to health and development outcomes.

In the closing remarks, Vice-Chair for the NSCT board and Director of Research Support Centre at KUHeS, Dr. Cecilia Maliwichi-Nyirenda, expressed gratitude and outlined plans for the commission. She thanked the Minister for putting issues of National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) as a priority and attending the launch all day and expressed how the support from the government will give them more boost to continue with their work.

“As a commission we are so excited because this is what we have been aspiring to achieve. Going forward we will also be dealing with any emerging issues that will present themselves such as climate issues because we know that these have had an effect on Malawi on Research and Innovation.” Said Maliwichi.

Grand Challenges was established in 2003 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to fund ground-breaking scientific research on specific unique health challenges in a country using bold mind ideas and innovative solutions. Several African countries such as Ethiopia, South Africa, Senegal and Botswana have launched Grand Challenges initiatives. Science for Africa Foundation (SFA) based in Nairobi coordinates national Grand Challenges in Africa to develop innovations on the African continent. Malawi has now is joined a growing global network to leverage efforts from members of the global Grand Challenges family to support research and innovation. This will broaden collaborations and mutual R&D funding for groundbreaking innovative research projects.

KUHeS Welcomes over 400 Postgraduate Students

In an auspicious event, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS) conducted its annual orientation program for the incoming postgraduate students for the academic year 2023/2024, commencing from September 4th to September 8th, 2023. This orientation was held at both the Blantyre campus Sports Complex and the Lilongwe campus. The ceremony was graced by the presence of 353 students at the Blantyre campus and 99 students at the Lilongwe campus, all of whom are embarking on their postgraduate studies across a diverse array of academic programs offered by KUHeS.

The Director of Students Affairs, Associate Professor Benjamin Kumwenda, extended a warm welcome to the postgraduate students, representing the Vice Chancellor and the university’s management. He conveyed heartfelt congratulations to the students for securing admission to KUHeS, underscoring the institution’s reputation as one of the preeminent institutions in Malawi and Africa. He further encouraged the students to consider entrepreneurship as a viable pursuit, emphasizing that the acquisition of knowledge and skills should empower them to create employment opportunities. He remarked, “Many of you are doing further studies to get better jobs, but you can create jobs with the skills and the education you acquire because looking forward to being employed is a slave mentality and a product of colonialism.” Associate Prof Kumwenda also assured the students that his office would be readily available to assist with non-academic challenges that may hinder their academic progress.

Additionally, the Acting Director of the Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research, Professor Angella Chimwaza, extended her best wishes to the students as they embarked on their postgraduate journeys. She underlined the paramount importance of self-discipline in the pursuit of postgraduate studies, emphasizing that students must efficiently manage their schedules to balance academic commitments with other responsibilities, in order to avert the risk of academic setbacks. Professor Chimwaza stated, “There are other responsibilities outside studies to attend to as postgraduate students, and you need to practice self-discipline and plan your schedules properly to fit in your studies to avoid failure.

The opening ceremony featured introductions and presentations by the Executive Deans representing all five schools within KUHeS. This was complemented by informative sessions that encompassed financial matters, registration procedures, institutional regulations, mental health awareness, information technology resources, library facilities, access to online resources, guidance on engaging with the College of Medicine Research and Ethics Committee (COMREC), scholarship opportunities, student affairs, sports participation, and departmental visits.

Action medeor donates stethoscopes to needy students at KUHeS

In an inspiring collaboration that underscores the power of generosity, Action Medeor, a distinguished German Medical Aid Organization, extended a helping hand to Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS) on August 16, 2023. The occasion marked a significant donation of stethoscopes to KUHeS students who will embark on their first clinical rotations at the KUHeS Lilongwe campus next year.

The donation ceremony was graced by the Director of Students Affairs for KUHeS, Associate Professor Benjamin Kumwenda, student’s union representatives, and other members of staff.

In his remarks, on behalf of Vice Chancellor Prof McPherson Mallewa and KUHeS Management, Kumwenda expressed deep gratitude for the donation saying it will go a long way in helping the students meet the requirements of their studies.

“We are grateful that you extended your hand and donated to the students when they approached you for support and you have shown a good example for most organizations through this donation.” He said.

He further commended the courage of student representatives who went out to seek support for their peers by going to different institutions and also commended Action Medeor’s unwavering commitment to the health sector.

Gladys Thole, Branch Manager for Action Medeor who is also a KUHeS alumna, whilst sharing the organization’s mission, said it was their mandate as a non-profit organization to help others and that the organization pursues accessibility and affordability in providing essential medical supplies and equipment to countries like Malawi.

“Helping future health professionals will help the health systems because having a better capacity of professionals is part of the agendas for sustainable health goals. We want to bridge the gap between the hospitals and the supply. We make donations for drugs and medical equipment; we provide training and we also supply as a wholesale, selling at a nonprofit price.” She said.

In her remarks, the Chairperson of the MBBS2, BDS2, BND2 Social Welfare Committee at KUHeS, Tionge Kaunda, extended gratitude to Action Medeor for being the first organization to donate items and expressed determination to continue their efforts. She also went on to articulate the motivation behind the initiative to support needy students saying their class has a total of 160 students, 75 of which are needy.

“We saw that just because our friends are financially unable to access these gadgets, it does not mean they should not have access to the same education that other people have in the same class. This donation has encouraged and inspired us to keep going. And to our Alumni Gladys, you have shown us a very good example of what to do when we leave this institution which is to come back and to make a difference because you are truly changing lives.” She said.

When they begin their clinical training next year, aside from stethoscopes, the students will need other equipment such as BP cups, Scrubs, and more.

2023 Global Health Summer School

We are excited to announce the commencement of the 2023 Global Health Summer School, a collaboration initiative between the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, the Institute on Ethics and Policy Innovation at McMaster University, Canada, and MLW. The summer school will take place from 28th August – 8th September 2023 at KUHeS Blantyre Campus under the theme “Global Health Ethics, Equity, Leadership, and Innovation.”

The primary objective of this year’s summer school is to provide healthcare professionals, Public Health practitioners, researchers, and policy analysts with the practical leadership and management skills they need to deal with the escalating global health challenges. Additionally, the summer school aims to inspire attendees to develop and drive innovative solutions that address these pressing issues head-on.

This year’s summer school is designed in an interdisciplinary manner. It will provide participants with the opportunity to delve into topics relevant to their respective areas of work while also encouraging engagement with professionals from diverse specializations. The program will be delivered in a period of two weeks, each week offering a unique set of modules. Week one will commence from 28th August to 1st September 2023. During the first week, participants will immerse themselves in the following modules: Leadership, Global Health Ethics, Innovation, and Debate on CHIM studies. The second week will commence from 4th September to 8th September 2023. During this final week, participants will be offered the following modules that focus on research and ethics: Pragmatic research, Operational research, Real-Time embedded ethics, Research Integrity, and Data governance.

Registration for the Global Health Summer School is now open. Interested individuals are being asked to apply and register as soon as possible.Secure your spot and don’t miss this chance to be part of a transformative learning experience that empowers you to shape the future of global health with ethics, equity, leadership, and innovation!

To register, kindly follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zRJOqXjrgn2DxqqRSHtTUQfrG3UBVQ28/edit

For more information and registration details, please visit our website or contact us at globalhealthsummerschool@kuhes.ac.mw.

We look forward to welcoming you to this enriching and impactful event! Apply now!

Girls Science Retreat:Empowering the Next Generation of Female Scientists

Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS) and the SAVE Project under the World Bank, recently hosted a two-day Girls Science Retreat from 5th – 8th July 2023. The event was aimed at inspiring and motivating girls in secondary schools to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The event brought together students, educators, and guest speakers to promote gender diversity in these male-dominated fields and encourage more girls to explore opportunities in the sciences. By exposing them to successful role models and various science activities, the organizers hoped to instill a passion for science and encourage them to consider science programs at the university level after completing their secondary education.

For many years, girls in Malawi have been hesitant to pursue science careers. Recognizing this disparity, the Girls Science Retreat was organized as one of the interventions by the SAVE Project to increase the number of girls and women pursuing STEM careers. The retreat welcomed students from various secondary schools in Blantyre rural such as Madzi abango CDSS, Zingwangwa Secondary School, Namiwawa CDSS, Lumbira Secondary School, Ngumbe CDSS, Namikasi CDSS, Soche Hill Secondary School, Nanjiriri Secondary School, Lunzu Secondary, and Bangwe Community Day Secondary School. The event provided them with an opportunity to visit KUHeS laboratories, meet successful women in science, and engage in hands-on science activities.

Day 1 Highlights: The first day of the Girls Science Retreat began with the Director of Students Affairs (DSA), Dr. Benjamin Kumwenda, delivering inspiring opening remarks. He expressed gratitude to the SAVE Project and the World Bank for their support and highlighted the significance of the event in motivating young girls to pursue science careers.

Dr. Elizabeth Chodzadza, the Executive Dean of the School of Maternal, Neonatal, and Reproductive Health, took to the stage to present an overview of KUHeS programs and her academic success. Drawing from her own experiences, she emphasized the importance of setting clear goals and working diligently to achieve them. Afterwards, Assistant Registrar Academic, Miss Sphiwe Lino, presented an overview of KUHeS programs and the specific requirements for admission. She emphasized that pursuing science subjects opens up a world of opportunities, and the diverse programs at KUHeS cater to aspiring health professionals, including nurses, midwives, medical doctors, pharmacists, physical therapists, nutritionists, biomedical scientists, and lab technicians.

Dr. Mulinda Nyirenda a senior lecturer at KUHeS, in her talk on “Developing Talents and Scientific Interests,” urged the girls to recognize their unique abilities and to explore different skills. She emphasized that hard work, self-discovery, and networking with diverse individuals can lead to extraordinary accomplishments. Dr. Gladys Gadama, a Senior Lecturer based at KUHeS, delivered an empowering speech to the young girls, challenging gender stereotypes and encouraging them to pursue Science as a career. She emphasized that intelligence and capability know no gender boundaries and that every girl has the potential to achieve greatness in the field of Science.

The highlight of the day was the engaging Chemistry Lab Sessions, where the secondary school students had a hands-on experience in the world of Chemistry. Under the guidance of KUHeS staff, particularly Mr. Chimphepo, they conducted experiments, observed chemical reactions, and explored the wonders of this fundamental science. The lab sessions sparked enthusiasm and curiosity among the girls, fostering a deeper interest in scientific exploration.

Day 2 Highlights: The second day of the Girls Science Retreat was filled with enriching activities and inspiring encounters, further fueling the girls’ passion for science and empowering them to envision a future in STEM.

Computer Lab Session: In the computer lab session, facilitated by Grace Kamkuzi – Website Developer from the ICT department, the students delved into the world of technology and its impact on various scientific fields. The session sparked an appreciation for the role of technology in modern scientific pursuits and encouraged the girls to consider the dynamic intersection of Science and Computing.

The most anticipated segment of the day was the meeting with accomplished female scientists who shared their remarkable journeys and breakthroughs in the world of Science. Associate Prof. Janelisa Musaya – An Associate Director at Malawi Liverpool Welcome Trust (MLW) and a leading figure in Neglected Tropical Diseases research – captivated the audience with her life story. From overcoming challenges in her early education to becoming a respected scientist, she emphasized the significance of perseverance and believing in one’s potential. Her words resonated with the girls, motivating them to embrace their uniqueness and use their talents to make a difference in the scientific realm. Dr. Atupele Kapito – another trailblazing role model who is a senior lecturer at KUHeS, emphasized the importance of setting clear goals and working diligently to achieve them. She shared her own journey of academic determination, highlighting that success is not determined by the path one takes but rather the dedication and effort invested. Dr. Kapito encouraged the students to stay focused, work hard, and never underestimate their capabilities.

During the Alumni Session, KUHeS alumni Dr. Diana Kululanga Banda shared her inspiring journey from primary school to College of Medicine. She highlighted the transformative impact of education and how it shaped her into the accomplished professional she is today.

In her closing remarks, Mrs Bernadette Kholopa Nanganga a science teacher from Namiwawa CDSS expressed gratitude to KUHeS and the sponsors for the event. She highlighted the positive impact of the retreat on the girls, inspiring them to embrace Science and work towards their dreams. She emphasized the importance of staying focused, hard work, and self-belief as keys to success.

The Girls Science Retreat also featured engaging activities organized by the Science for All Initiative from MLW. The talented girls interacted with MLW representatives, who motivated them to work hard in their studies to achieve their dreams. Role models shared their educational journeys, and engaging games added a fun touch to the event. The MLW activities aimed to instill a sense of curiosity and ambition among the students, inspiring them to pursue their passion for science.

Other activities included sporting activities such as netball and girls football at the KUHeS Sports Complex facilitated by Mr Geof Biya the Sports Administrator, a Science Quiz facilitated by Mrs Gondwe from Soche Hill Secondary School and a disco.

The Girls Science Retreat proved to be a transformative event, igniting curiosity and ambition among the young female students.

KUHeS receives a significant donation for needy students

Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS) has been included among the six public universities in Malawi to benefit from a generous donation aimed at supporting financially disadvantaged students by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Malawi, Dr Lazarus Chakwera. During a ceremony that happened on 14th June 2023 at Kamuzu Palace, the President presented a donation of K120 million, with each university receiving K20 million. The funds will be allocated to support 427 needy students by covering tuition fees, accommodation and daily expenses. The donation was made possible through the Presidential Charity Initiative, an ongoing endeavor that seeks to provide assistance to deserving students. The president highlighted the importance of providing assistance to these students, recognizing that it offers them a solid foundation as they embark on their journey towards self-actualization.

President Chakwera acknowledged, however, that the initiative alone cannot cater to the needs of all deserving students. Therefore, he urged public universities to develop their own initiatives to raise funds and support financially disadvantaged learners.

Notably, Minister of Education, Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima, commended the Presidential Charity Initiative for its benevolent gesture, emphasizing its significant contribution to human capital development, in line with the objectives outlined in the Malawi 2063 agenda.

KUHeS extends its sincere appreciation to the Presidential Charity Initiative for its generosity and commitment to empowering financially disadvantaged students. The university remains dedicated to its mission of fostering academic excellence and ensuring equal opportunities for all students, regardless of their financial circumstances.