Local Leadership Delivering for Families

Jennifer Coulombe, Senior Manager, Business Development, Seed Global HealthBlog, Malawi, Medicine, Nursing

When it comes to providing the best care, local leaders know what is most needed. That’s why our model at Seed Global Health centers on partnerships with local nursing and medicine leaders, investing in them and their staff as we seek to build capacity and expand delivery of quality care together, as partners.

We’re proud to partner with Daeyang University in Lilongwe, Malawi to help teach and train the next generation of providers, and proud to collaborate with Dr. Douglas Lungu, Vice Chancellor of Daeyang. We were able to sit down with Dr. Lungu recently and hear his thoughts on strengthening nursing and medicine teaching within the hospital.

Jennifer Coulombe (JC): Thank you for your leadership, Dr. Lungu. We’ve enjoyed a strong collaboration in nursing so far. What are you hoping to see as you look to strengthen medicine at Daeyang?

Douglas Lungu (DL): Most importantly, we are trying to develop a curriculum for the medical school. We need to be able to continue strong teaching, and we want training to be more family medicine-based than hospital-based. We are really interested in better servicing rural communities, and so the medical school needs to reflect that. The medical part is an important part of a bigger vision for local care.

JC: How do visiting faculty placed by Seed support your work at Daeyang?

DL: We have have a good relationship with Seed in our nursing college. It’s good to have someone here for a year. Most organizations will say, “we’ll only send an expert for 4 weeks or 2 months.” It’s not enough time for them to understand context. The idea that we can get someone to help us for say 4 weeks is not enough, so if we have someone on ground for a year, someone here for 4 weeks has someone to hand it over to.

 JC: How will this partnership help support or strengthen health practitioner education in Malawi?

 DL: Much of Seed’s expertise comes from very highly regarded Seed personnel in various fields, and the partnership gives that legitimacy to what we are doing at the hospital. There’s an exchange of knowledge but also being able to contextualize knowledge. We need something that works for our local context, which Seed does well. And Seed also supports Family Medicine, which has been a growing focus for you and for us. The expertise that Seed brings there is critical to strengthening medical education at Daeyang.

 JC: Where do you see our partnership in several years?

We would lie to expand our collaboration over next 5 years, but 5 years from now, we will also have an established medical school. It will be a unique and strong medical school, expertise will move from Seed volunteers to faculty at the University, providing standardized, community-based medical education and teaching the next generation. We will see the ripple effect from that.