Kena Mphonda, Malawi High Commissioner to the United Kingdom met with the Africa Oxford Initiative team to discuss academic and research collaborations between academics in Malawi and their counterparts in the University of Oxford.
The meeting was a follow up to President Mutharika’s visit a month ago to the University during which discussions were held about strengthening research partnerships with Malawi.
Mr. Mphonda met with AfOx Director Prof Kevin Marsh, Program Coordinator Dr Anne Makena, and Communications Manager Kuukuwa Manful. Also present at the meeting was Norbert Nthala, a DPhil candidate in Computer Science, who researches security and holds a BSc. in Information Technology from the University of Malawi.
Apart from increasing and strengthening research partnerships, the meeting also discussed the allocation of Postgraduate scholarships from the government for Malawians to study in Oxford, the establishment of expert and advisory groups consisting of Malawians abroad as well as friends of Malawi.
Malawians in Oxford
There are currently 4 Malawian students studying in the university and there are 31 alumni in Malawi. There are also 2 Malawian academic staff who work with the University.
Oxford Research in Malawi
There is are strong Oxford research connections in Malawi especially in the area of health research with partnerships in various research areas including orthopaedic surgery, digital health, and health systems strengthening among others.
Dr Alison Ward, Assoc. Professor at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences was part of the international team of consultants for the FP7 Supporting Life programme – a €3M programme on child care in rural Malawi using diagnostic and mobile phone technology carried out in partnership with Mzuzu University and others.
Prof. Chris Lavy, Professor of Orthopaedic and Tropical Medicine at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) served as professor at the University Of Malawi College Of Medicine where he oversaw the setting up of The Beit CURE International Hospital, an orthopaedic teaching hospital and research centre in Malawi with a regional and international training scheme in orthopaedic surgery with the College of Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa. He remains on the Council of the College and is Chairman of the Orthopaedic Fellowship exam.
Dr Anant Jani’s areas of research include value-based healthcare, and TB diagnostics, and has research partners in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Dr Richard Idro, Senior Clinical Research Paediatrician with the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, is a consultant paediatrician and paediatric neurologist in Mulago hospital and an Honorary Lecturer in Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Uganda. He has research collaborations with the University of Malawi. Prof Andrew Farmer studies long-term chronic health conditions, and using digital health to deliver interventions and has collaborations with the Karonga Prevention Study and the Malawi Ministry of Health. Dr Richard Idro is a researcher in Clinical Neuroscience and Tropical Medicine and has collaborations at the University of Malawi.
Other University of Oxford academics with research projects in Malawi are Dr Sarah Rowland-Jones, Dr Sassy Molyneux, Prof Martin Maiden, Dr Vicki Marsh, Dr Susan Bull, Dr Patricia Kingori, Dr James Meiring, Prof. Calman MacLennan, Prof. Andrew Pollard, Dr Gail Carson and Dr Jenny MacLennan