More than £1million of funding has been awarded to support an NHS Tayside-led project to support emergency and trauma care services in Malawi.
The money is part of the Scottish Government’s Malawi Development Programme, which will fund 11 projects focused on health, education, economic development and renewable energy to be delivered in partnership between Scottish-based organisations and their Malawian partners.
Over the next five years, the funding awarded to the project team in NHS Tayside will support the development of emergency and trauma care units at all central hospitals in Malawi, with the aim of delivering a national emergency trauma network.
This follows a successful pilot project between 2010 and 2015 to establish the first Adult Emergency and Trauma Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.
Consultant in emergency medicine Dr Barry Klaassen, who is leading the Tayside project, said, “The project team are delighted to be awarded this grant from the Scottish Government to replicate the success of the pilot project.
“This funding will support our training and development of a fit-for-purpose emergency medicine service across Malawi over the next five years. This will greatly improve the delivery of emergency and trauma care to one of the least resourced nations in Africa.
“Our project is ambitious but this funding, combined with the experience that we have already gained and the support of the emergency clinicians and nurses from across Scotland, will make a significant and sustainable improvement to the delivery of emergency care in Malawi.”
Chairman John Brown, who recently visited the Emergency Department team to hear more about the project in Malawi, said, “This funding provides a wonderful boost to the Tayside project and will be used to benefit many patients in Malawi.
“The team in Tayside is among the many staff in NHS Scotland who make a significant contribution to health work in developing countries. Their valuable work assisting in the delivery of healthcare in partnership with teams in Malawi will provide important development, as well as mutual learning opportunities for the staff taking part.”
The NHS Tayside project team plans to fundraise locally and nationally to further support the development of emergency and trauma care units in Malawi.
Scottish Government International Development Minister Ben Macpherson said, “We are delighted to support this project as part of our £11million Malawi Development Programme which is aimed at helping vulnerable communities.
“This project builds on a successful pilot and will help NHS Tayside to establish an emergency care service in central Malawi.
“Setting up fit-for-purpose and sustainable emergency and trauma units at all Central Hospitals will help to improve people’s health, potentially save lives and deliver long-term benefits in Malawi.”
Projects also awarded funding from the Scottish Government include a partnership with Water Aid to improve the health of mothers and children through better sanitation and access to safe water in healthcare facilities and childhood development centres, and a collaboration between the University of Glasgow and the University of Malawi to establish an undergraduate dental degree programme.