Medical Education of Students and Faculty
A longstanding elective provides the opportunity for 24 final-year medical students from the Colleges of Osteopathic and Human Medicine to rotate through one of the four major clinical departments of the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital: Paediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynaecology, Surgery and Internal Medicine. The electives are six weeks in length, and students share the “MSU House” with Dr. Taylor while they are in Blantyre.
To learn how to scan patients by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and how to interpret the images, Dr. Sam Kampondeni, then Malawi’s only radiologist (and now one of only two radiologists in Malawi), came to the Department of Radiology at Michigan State University in 2008 to train. Dr. Kampondeni is a highly valued member of the Project's research team
Mrs. Esther Gondwe, the Blantyre Malaria Project administrator, travels annually to Michigan State to confer with grant administrators there. Together with her counterpart, Mrs. Lynn Mande, they attend the annual meeting of the Society of Research Administrators. In 2014, the two of them developed a prize-winning poster on the challenges of supporting grant-related travel for investigators who do not have credit cards (a common situation in Malawi).
The Malawi Fund supports medical education activities:
Subsidizing housing costs at the MSU House. The Malaria Project pays personnel working at this house (cook, guards, gardener) a living wage, allowing them to feed and educate their own families. The cost of paying staff and managing the house (local taxes, upkeep) is higher than the income brought in by rent from students and vistiing faculty. The Malawi Fund pays for the difference between collected rents and expenses
Paying some of the travel costs for Michigan State University medical students. The airfare and housing costs for the 6 week rotation in Malawi are currently funded by the students themselves. Many medical students are already deeply in debt, and this impinges upon the decision to take advantage of the Malawi elective. Working in Africa is a stunning capstone experience, and in order to relieve a bit of the financial burden, a portion of student airfare and housing costs will be subsidized by the Blantyre Malaria Project
Kara Leahy, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine student, February 2015
Steve Thompson, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine student, March 2014