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#ProjectMalawi: update on building in-country imaging capacity

Updated: 6 days ago

We are pleased to share with you some exciting updates on our work in Malawi.

Ongoing academic collaboration and clinical service support

Over the past 3 months, we have worked closely with local academic leads to create and deliver high-quality radiology content for the medical school and specialist training curricula.

These courses include Specialist Paediatrics (child health), BSc Clinical Officers in Paediatrics, BSc Physiotherapy students, and the surgical module of 5th-year medical students.

To provide clinical support, we have set up regular multi-disciplinary team meetings in paediatrics, paediatric surgery, general adult surgery, adult internal medicine, and anaesthesia. This regular contact and shared practice with the team are really helping them with patient treatment and with complex cases in particular.

New CT scanner installation

A brand new CT scanner was installed in the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre in December. The CT machine is said to have the best resolution in Malawi.

To date, 700 patients have been scanned using the new CT machine. This technology has a high impact on the rapid access to scans in the accident, cancer, and surgery setting in particular.

Previously, these patients would have to go to a nearby hospital for their scan but now it’s all done in one place.

Education is a key component in ensuring the effective use of such high-quality machinery, and therefore we will continue supporting the team at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital to build their knowledge and capacity.

This photo demonstrates the core CT radiography team in the control room with our clinical nurse by the patient before undergoing the CT

We are excited to be part of a new Point of Care ultrasound course (POCUS for short)

We are pleased to share that the College of Medicine have recruited the first 13 students from different specialties to learn ultrasound skills for emergency care diagnosis, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and brain imaging of babies.

They will attend a 4-day course, scheduled to run in mid-2021, followed by on the job training. We are working together with the College of Medicine and colleagues from the University of Hamburg, Germany, who are leading on this project.

Our volunteer team has also been working hard to help put together valuable learning content for a mobile App which can be used by the trainees to access online study material prior to attendance at the POCUS courses.

A formal agreement with the College of Medicine

We are happy to announce that we have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the College of Medicine, University of Malawi. This means that Worldwide Radiology can more effectively support educational activities directed at undergraduate and postgraduate students at the university, as well as collaborate in research projects.

Volunteer teaching to start this month

Our UK based volunteers are excited to start sharing their knowledge and experience with the students in Malawi. We are delighted to be able to start the teaching sessions remotely in April. As the internet connectivity may not allow live sessions at all times, we will back up our sessions with pre-recorded audiovisual presentations where needed.

Once COVID subsides, Worldwide Radiology volunteers can start to visit Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. We look forward to supporting our volunteers with on-site apprenticeships where they will learn new ultrasound skills, X-ray and CT interpretation, as well as participate in delivering future POCUS courses.

At the moment, we have 6 volunteers working on #ProjectMalawi sharing their expertise and building the capacity of 63 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Looking forward

Despite all the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud of the significant progress that we have made and we continue to set our sights on exciting milestones ahead.

We hope that in the coming months we will be able to arrange for our global volunteer network to start providing the clinicians at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital with expert second opinions to help improve patient care. This will help to continue building the Malawi team’s capacity.

Sustainable delivery of quality imaging services is one of our core objectives. In order to create this sustainability and to counteract the great lack in local expertise, we are also aiming to support the teams setting up a new specialist Radiology training programme, to increase the number of Malawian radiologists.


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