Life Sciences and allied health professions

Life Sciences and allied health professions

The School of Science and Allied Health Professions encompasses a broad group of health professionals who use scientific principles and evidence-based practice for the identification, diagnostic evaluation and treatment of acute and chronic diseases and disorders; promote disease prevention and wellness for optimum health of people of all ages and all specialities. These include Pharmacists, Physiotherapists and Medical Laboratory Scientists. At Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, students pursuing these particular programmes are required to gain comprehensive understanding of the biomedical sciences which include anatomy, physiology and biochemistry among other foundational therapeutic sciences. As such, they all learn under one roof in an elementary system referred to as the Allied Health Sciences (AHS) programme. The AHS is administered and managed by the BMS department through its sections.

Allied health educational programs seek to prepare competent allied health professionals and leaders for practice across multiple health care settings. Currently, the BMS administers the Allied Health Sciences course at years one and three to the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (MLS), Bachelor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Physiotherapy programs. The courses offered include: Human anatomy, Human Biochemistry and Human Physiology at year one; Biostatistics and Research Ethics at year three.


Biomedical Sciences Department

Department Overview

BMS provides biomedical science teaching and research services to MBBS, DAHS and BSc. Clinical Science Programs, particularly in years 1, 2 and 3. Traditionally, services are delivered through its four Units: Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry and Foundations. 

The Department also has a number of NCHE–accredited postgraduate programs which include, Master of Science in Bioinformatics and Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences. In addition, BMS houses several MSc. and PhD students. The department has five academic Sections, namely; Anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, foundations and bioinformatics.

Anatomy Unit

Housed within BMS premises, this Unit is actively involved in teaching and research of Macroscopic, Microscopic and Developmental Anatomy as applied to biological and human disease processes.

Biochemistry Unit

This Unit is responsible for teaching and research in biochemistry, molecular science, clinical chemistry and analytical methods relevant to medical practice.

Physiology Unit

The Physiology Unit focusses on teaching and research in physiology as applied to the function of human body systems in states of health as well as their response in states of disease.

Foundation Studies Unit

This Unit is involved in teaching and research in sciences and language as applicable to foundational year students. Focus areas include; Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Information and Communications Technology and Language and Communication.

Bioinformatics Unit

The Bioinformatics Unit is responsible for the running of the MSc Bioinformatics programme.  Through the programme, the department intends to raise a new generation of scientists capable of designing and analyzing experiments aimed at obtaining and processing genomic and proteomic data for application in medicine and natural sciences.

State-of-the-art Facilities

•    Physiology Fertility Laboratory

•    Clinical Chemistry Laboratory

•    Histology Laboratories

•    Gross Anatomy (Dissection) Laboratory

•    Cell Culture (Bioactivities) Laboratory

•    Natural Products Laboratory

Academic Programmes

Medical Laboratory Sciences Department 

Department Overview

Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) is one of the departments within the School of Sciences and Allied Health Professions (BMSHP) at the newly established Kamuzu University of Health Science (KUHeS). The MLS Department has been offering an undergraduate programme in MLS since 2006. 

Medical Laboratory Science programme is synonymous to Biomedical Sciences in other institutions of higher learning both local and internationally. The MLS programme was established to provide undergraduate training in laboratory medicine so as to respond to a national call for laboratory professionals at graduate level in order to improve medical diagnostic services in the country. Since 2021, the MLS department introduced a Master of Science (MSc) degree in MLS is designed to respond to the national and global health needs by producing graduates with knowledge, attitudes and skills; in applied clinical diagnosis of human diseases using classical techniques and modern technology, necessary for effective management of clinical laboratories, academic and research institutions and in health-related industries; and to enable them perform scientific research in the medical laboratory area. Graduates from this programme will specialize in one of the following areas: Biomedical Forensic Science, Clinical Chemistry, Haematology, Histopathology and Diagnostic Cytology, and Medical Microbiology.

Academic Programmes

Pharmacy Department

Departmental overview

The Pharmacy Department was established in 2006. It enjoys close proximity to other sciences departments within the state-of-the-art Kamuzu University of Health Sciences. The Pharmacy Department has a vision of being a pre-eminent institution within SADC delivering the highest quality education, research opportunities, and service toward the advancement of the Pharmacy profession, pharmaceutical sciences, and biomedical sciences in the pursuit of improved healthcare for Malawi, SADC countries and the whole world.

The Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy course comprises a five-year university education and is followed by a one-year practical education. 

Research in the Department aims to discover the fundamental mechanisms which underlie important problems in pharmacy, and also addresses research priorities outlined in the Malawi National Health Research Agenda, geared towards obtaining evidence which is needed for policy and decision making in the pharmaceutical sector in Malawi.

The Pharmacy Department has formal collaborations with a number of well-known international universities and research institutions. Key universities which are in collaboration with the department are Universities of Tuebingen-German and Iceland. It is a collaborating member of the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN Centre of Excellence of Schools of Pharmacy in Africa. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) sponsors a partnership of the Pharmacy Department with the Pharmaceutical Institute of Tuebingen University, Germany.

Academic Programmes

  1. Bachelor of Pharmacy (honors) (direct and mature entry)
  2. Masters of Philosophy (MPhil)
  3. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

4.Rehabilitation Sciences Department

Departmental overview    

The department of Physiotherapy is housed in the old library building of the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences. The department has eleven full time academic members of staff and three administrative members of staff. Two members in the department hold doctorate degrees and three other members are PhD fellows while other members either holding Master of Science degrees or are studying towards acquiring them.

The Physiotherapy Clinic

The department also hosts a state of the art outpatient Physiotherapy clinic. In addition to serving as a site for bed side teaching as well as providing community service, the clinic was also established as part of income generating activities (IGA) for the college. The clinic also contributes to research in the field of medical rehabilitation. 

Academic programme

  1. Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honors)