Malawi will get £300,000 (K285 million) from the Scottish Government to be used for training psychiatrists in the country.
Several students will undertake a four-year psychiatry course at Malawi’s College of Medicine and South Africa’s University of Cape Town. Upon finishing the course, the students will be practising in the country’s hospitals which currently have no psychiatrists.
Vice chancellor of the University of Malawi Professor John Saka has since hailed the sponsorship saying it will enable the country to develop a sustainable mental healthcare service.
“Scottish Government projects have already made a significant impact at the College of Medicine, helping to quadruple the number of medical graduates in Malawi, and this new funding will be critical in developing a sustainable mental healthcare service in our country,” said Saka.
On his part, Scotland’s International development minister Dr Alasdair Allan said the funding will help take forward the psychiatry profession in Malawi.
“This funding heralds a new chapter in our historic relationship with the college, the country’s only public medical school.
“At present, there are no Malawian psychiatrists practising in the country but this funding will provide psychiatry graduates to take forward the profession in the years to come and teach the next generation,” said Allan
The funding will be managed by the Scotland Malawi Mental Health Education Project (SMMHEP). SMMHEP is working to improve education and training of mental healthcare professionals in Malawi, with teaching support from Scotland’s University of Edinburgh.