The Fife Malawi ENT Partnership – “Ungweru”

Year established 2015
Sectors NHS
Country Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi

Overall goals

Training, education and support of ENT personnel – nurses, clinical officers and trainee surgeons.

Achieved: We have run this project for 3 years. Initially, we identified, in partnership with the department in Malawi and in line with the Malawian government to assess the areas of need. As there were no ENT trained nurses, we chose to concentrate on specialist ENT training for nursing staff to provide a stable base for development of the rest of the department. We have already achieved the training of 2 ENT theatre nurses and plan to train 2 more ward nurses next year. Our aim is to train enough nurses for them to run a programme in Malawi. Through this training, we have improved patient safety in the department. We have also supported the education and experience of one of the 2 registrars and helped develop teaching for clinical officers along with some colleagues. We also provide clinical advice and support for difficult cases on a regular basis.

Key UK Colleagues and Partners

NHS Fife, University of St Andrews, Sheffmed

International Partners

Dept. of ENT Blantyre, Malawi

Sustainable development goals

  • SDG 3 - Good health and well-being

Funding source

Fundraising and support from industry particularly Sheffmed

Project origin

A discussion with the owner of medical supplies company Sheffmed, led to a supported visit to the ENT Department in Blantyre. After discussion with the nursing and medical staff their areas of need for education and training were established and have developed since then.

Evidence of need

see above

Project areas


Project activities

Three visits of nursing and medical personnel from Fife to Blantyre with another planned for November 2018

a) 1 pilot visit of a nurse and a clinical officer from Blantyre to Fife Nov 2016

b) 3-month period of nurse training in Fife – 2 Malawian nurses trained in theatre and perioperative care and supported on return to Malawi with a team of nurses.

c) support for registrar clinical observation visit May – July 2018 – accommodation costs, some travel costs and training courses covered.

d) coordination with a group of surgeons from England to provide training for clinical officers during visits to Blantyre

e) Planned further training of nursing staff, likely ward based planned for 2019


All efforts are in line with Malawian governments 10-year plan for ENT service development. To improve the nursing environment in the ENT unit in Blantyre and to help support and develop the ENT skills of the registrars and clinical officers throughout Malawi .

Next steps

We will continue to help develop and train staff members in the department to improve standards and achieve a sustainable, safe service.


Red tape to allow Malawian nurses to practice in the UK and getting charitable status to allow for gift aid – both solved by joining forces with the University of St Andrews

Mitigating challenges

Help in setting up charitable status
Possible financial support

Partnership principles

  • strategic
  • harmonised
  • effective
  • respectful
  • organised
  • responsible
  • flexible

Project gains

  • leadership
  • teamwork
  • clinical
  • awareness
  • patient
  • resilience

Related websites

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