I

t is indeed my privilege to lead the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the College of Medicine, University of Malawi. A School that has grown to three departments Public Health, Family Medicine and Health Systems and Policy from originally one department – Community Health. I have an over 20-year relationship with this wonderful University and College, beginning in early 1990s as a bachelor of science student at Chancellor College before becoming a medical student at College of Medicine, then as a proud alumna, thereafter a doctoral student under joint-supervision from the College and University of Tampere with research implemented in Lungwena, later as a postdoctoral research fellow leading a Maternal, Newborn and Child Health studies in Mangochi and finally joining as a member of the faculty in 2012 deployed to Lilongwe Campus where I was appointed the Coordinator for the Department of Public Health. At the start of School in 2014, I was elected Deputy Dean of the School – the College’s young and most promising faculty under its first dean – Professor Kamija Phiri, and now as Dean from 2018 – to continue steering this school to new and higher attainments. My personal research interests are largely in nutritional related matters and interactions; and I have enjoyed taking huge responsibility of advising the Government and its partners through accepting invitation to serve in technical working groups (TWGs) and nutrition policy advisory boards.

During my life at the College, led by our prominent Professors in the School and leadership of the College from Professors Dalenburg, Chiphangwi, Broadhead and Maleta and Dr Mipando, I have witnessed the transformative impact which this institution can have on social wellbeing, nutrition and health of communities through our education of students, our research activities and our outreach activities towards the health system and communities. We are a community of individuals who bring together expertise from a wide variety of arenas through our three departments and specialities: statistics, epidemiology, social sciences, ethics and psychology, within the school and interaction with other faculties within College and beyond, and research centres: MAC, MLW, ACEPHEM, THRU, CEBESA, CRH and MEURU, to produce new knowledge, powerful ideas, and practical solutions to major public health challenges. Our work improves the health and transforms the lives of people in Malawi and beyond, informing and influencing everything from individual habits and their environments to health care systems, government policies and contributing to Health Sector Strategic Plan II, Malawi Growth Development Strategy III, Sustainable Development Goals and Africa Agenda 2063.

In the past few decade advances in knowledge about how best to protect the public’s health helped increase the average life expectancy in Malawi. Recently, this has been attained through our fight against malaria, reduction in undernutrition and increase of survival of people living with HIV/AIDS but today, our progress is threatened by increasing threats from non-communicable diseases, increase in overnutrition and injuries from road traffic accidents and workplace. Our global health interests also demand that we pay attention to old pandemics such as TB that is presenting with drug resistance and HIV/AIDS, and new pandemics like Ebola and Zika; pollution and climate change that endanger our health and our planet; increasing danger from drug resistance coupled with infiltration of counterfeit drugs; social forces including poverty, discrimination, and humanitarian crises that adversely affect well-being; and failing health systems that make it difficult for people to receive vital preventive care, medical treatments and rehabilitation services they need at public cost.

This is a crucial moment for public health in Malawi, and we at School of Public Health and Family Medicine have an imperative role to both serve and lead in innovative solutions. Our teaching needs to be innovative – promoting integration of district health service providers that will promote access of all health care services and acceptability of new approaches. Our research needs to focus on discovering relevant knowledge and local solution. Our outreach activities needs to support all public health stakeholders with credibility. Lastly, I look forward to working together with our faculty, students, staff, alumni, and friends to harness the energy and dedication that drives every member of our School. Together we will propel the School’s collective work to confront, understand and solve the major public health challenges we all face.

John Phuka
Dean of the Faculty

 

 

The School of Public Health and Family Medicine offeres the following courses:

Public health courses are offered across all the 5 years of training. The aim is to expose students to the concepts and practice of epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, nutrition, primary health care, evidence based medicine including research methods.

Public Health for Health Management, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, and Medical Laboratory sciences programs. Public health courses are offered mainly in the 3rd and 4th years of the program. The aim is to expose students to the concepts and practice of epidemiology, biostatistics, and research methods.

The clerkship in family medicine aims to introduce students to a thinking process that puts the family and context of a patient’s illness at the centre of thier care. By letting the student take history from the patient or guardian, perform a physical examination, writing the findings and participating in the process of further investigations and treatment options within the limits of his competence in the care of patients assigned to him/her, family medicine allows you to learn the key principles and translate theoretical knowledge into practical skills. The module also gives you an opportunity to experience and to practise integrated primary care medicine that is responsive to patients, their families and communities.

Read more about the Undergraduate (MBBS) Family Medicine Six Weeks Rotation
Read more about the Department of Family Medicine

Palliative care is specialized health care for people with life-limiting or serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with symptoms’ relief and relieving stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for the patient and the family. Palliative care is best provided within a multidisciplinary team, which works together to provide an extra layer of care and support. This is a 3-year bachelor of science program with modules in basic medical sciences (physiology, microbiology, pharmacology & therapeutics), psychosocial, spiritual & cultural issues, clinical management, communication, pain management, ethics, death and bereavement, palliative care policy & advocacy, mentoring and coaching.


Read more about the Department of Health Systems and Policy

The MPH course is focused on how to improve the health of populations and communities and particular groups within them through the prevention of disease, the promotion of health and the provision and evaluation of appropriate treatment and care. The course aims to equip students with skills to analyze public health problems and design, implement, and evaluate actions to improve them. The emphasis of this course is on,

the critical evaluation of evidence,
methods of analysis,
practical effective interventions,
management,
and evaluation.

Read more about the Master of Public Health Program
Read more about the Department of Public Health

 

This program focuses on the study of the factors determining and influencing the frequency and distribution of disease, injury, and other health-related events and their causes in a defined human population for the purpose of establishing programs to prevent and control their development and spread. It is the cornerstone of public health, and shapes policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare. This is a 2-year master degree program, which consists of core modules in basic and advanced epidemiology and biostatistics, disease control, research ethics, data management and integrity. Students are allowed to choose elective modules from a wide variety of disease and health programs specific modules (e.g. TB, malaria, HIV, nutrition, bioethics).

Read more about the Masters of Science in Epidemiology
Read more about the Department of Public Health

This program focuses on Global health as an area of study, research, and practice that places priority on improving population health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. Global health emphasizes on transnational health issues, determinants, and solutions; involves many disciplines within and beyond the health sciences and promotes interdisciplinary collaboration. This is a 2-year master degree program, which consists of core modules in Global Health, Principles, Policies and Practices; Economics and Financing; Global Environmental Health and Climate justice; Implementation Science; Program Design implementation and Evaluation; Ethics and Human Rights; Leadership, Ethics, Governance and Systems (LEGS) for Global Health Implementation; Global Economic Governance and Health Diplomacy; Comparative Health Systems. Students are allowed to choose elective modules from a selected disease and health programs specific modules.

Read more about the Masters of Science in Health Systems Management
Read more about the Department of Health Systems and Policy

The postgraduate training program in Family Medicine started with the first trainees at the University Of Malawi College Of Medicine in January 2015. The postgraduate program is four (4) years in length, and upon successful completion leads to the award of a Masters of Medicine (MMed) degree as laid forth and approved by the University of Malawi. The MMed (Family Medicine) is a specialist qualification at par with other clinical specialties in Medicine in Malawi.

Read more about the Postgraduate (MMed) Program
Read more about the Department of Family Medicine

The College of Medicine is inviting applications from suitably qualified candidates to pursue Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and/or Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) programs. These are postgraduate degree programs by research (2 years for MPhil; 3-4 years for PhD). Candidates may apply to be considered for a) the University of Malawi PhD degree program or b) the Joint College of Medicine-University of Liverpool PhD degree programs.

Candidates applying for these research degrees are strongly advised to have preliminary discussions with the relevant Heads of academic departments at CoM to enable matching of prospective student to supervisors or research groups and to develop research concepts before submitting an application.

Read more about the MPhil and/or PhD application process

The College of Medicine is inviting applications from suitably qualified candidates to pursue Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and/or Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) programs. These are postgraduate degree programs by research (2 years for MPhil; 3-4 years for PhD). Candidates may apply to be considered for a) the University of Malawi PhD degree program or b) the Joint College of Medicine-University of Liverpool PhD degree programs.

Candidates applying for these research degrees are strongly advised to have preliminary discussions with the relevant Heads of academic departments at CoM to enable matching of prospective student to supervisors or research groups and to develop research concepts before submitting an application.

Read more about the MPhil and/or PhD application process

The School has a large and vibrant research portfolio.  It uses its research platform platform that includes maternal & child health,  adolescent health, public health and child development,  infectious diseases, health systems and health economics with field sites across  Malawi to train postgraduate students at masters, PhD and postdoctoral level.  Most faculty are actively conducting research in groups, units and centres.  Some of the notable centres of research excellence are:

Public Health Nutrition and Child Development Centre

This centre focuses on identifying and developing important public health nutritional  interventions that will result in improved child development in Malawi and other countries in the region.  It has a long history of working in Lungwena in Mangochi where there is a 15-year birth cohort, but has now research sites across main districts in southern Malawi.

Training and Research Unit of Excellence (TRUE)

This centre established in 2009 focuses on developing new prevention and treatment strategies for malaria  and it’s associated morbidities in children and pregnant women.  It has main field sites in Zomba and Chikhwawa in southern Malawi where it conducts a number of clinical and community-based epidemiological studies.

Centre for Reproductive Health

This centre focuses on advancing reproductive health interests through facilitating productive  interaction between academia and the world of policy and practice, and through training RH  experts and students to contribute to the development of policies  and programs that will bring positive change in reproductive health and lives of men,  women and young people that are within the reproductive age group.

Centre for Bioethics in East and Southern Africa (CEBESA)

The centre focuses on building capacity in bioethics and applied ethics through the delivery  of short courses and postgraduate training programs. It is building a critical mass in the  African region in this important area and aims to provide internet based research ethics & IRB  distance learning for Malawi and Africa;  train, promote and conduct research in bioethics; promote bioethics publication;  and coordinate cross border research collaboration in the area of bioethics.

Adolescent Health Group

The group focuses on xxxx

Malaria Alert Centre

The centre undertakes operational research, and provides training and advocacy needed for malaria  prevention, management and control, with emphasis on monitoring and evaluation of intervention.   The aim is to contribute towards evidence based policy implementation through research and  dissemination of research results, promotion of public awareness of malaria,  and through knowledge and skills transfer for proper diagnosis, management  and control of major communicable diseases

Kutukula Maphunziro: Improving district learning July 2018 Newsletter

July 31st, 2018|0 Comments

We are excited to share with you the Malawi Family  Medicine  July 2018 Newsletter .

Kafukufuku: Malawi Family Medicine May Newsletter

June 1st, 2018|0 Comments

We are excited to share with you our 2018 May Newsletter

Celebrating Family Medicine Day

May 18th, 2018|0 Comments

May 19 is World Family Doctor Day ( FDD). This was first declared by WONCA in 2010 and it has become a day to highlight the role and contribution of family doctors in health care [...]

Public Health

Read more about the Department of Public Health, the available courses, research and staff information.

Department of Public Health

Read more about the Department of Public Health, the available courses and degrees, research and staff information.

Public Health

Family Medicine

Read more about the Department of Family Medicine, the available courses, research and staff information.

Department of Family Medicine

Read more about the Department of Family Medicine, the available courses, research and staff information.

Family Medicine

Health Systems and Policy

Read about the Department of Health Systems and Policy, the available courses, research and staff information.

Department of Health Systems and Policy

Read about the Department of Health Systems and Policy, the available courses, research and staff information.

Health Systems and Policy