From brain drain to brain circulation

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Of all sub-Saharan countries, Malawi comes dead last in the number of physicians per 1,000 inhabitants. According to the 2004 World Development Indicators (the last year for which data is available for most countries), Malawi had only .02 physicians per 1,000 inhabitants, tying Niger and well behind Uganda at .8 and Ghana at 1.5. Obviously, there is room for improvement.

The Scottish University of Dundee in cooperation with Scotland's International Development Fund is taking a step toward remedying this. The University is establishing a satellite campus in Malawi that will partner with Kamuzu Central Hospital. (Apparently, Scotland has a longstanding relationship with Malawi.) This is according to a recent article from University World News. Jon Dowell of Dundee Univesity said this about the collaboration:

This will help Dundee students but, of critical importance, also their Malawian colleagues and the hospital as a whole...It is hoped that the partnership between the University of Malawi college of medicine and Kamuzu Central Hopsital will act as a catalyst for other hospital and university links."

While it may just be a first step, it's particularly welcome considering the high rates at which doctors emigrate from Malawi, according to this World Bank dataset on physicians' emigration rates.


Ryan Hahn

Operations Officer

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