President Peter Mutharika’s official visit to Scotland has seen Glasgow pledging to help Malawi establish its first fully-fledged dental college.
Scottish Minister for International Development and Europe Dr Alasdair Allen made the announcement on Monday at the Glasgow University when he officially welcomed President Mutharika to Scotland.
Commenting on the announcement, Mutharika hailed the Scottish Government for the decision and assured the government of Scotland that once established the institution shall be put to good use.
President Mutharika added that his administration is expediting the delinking of the University of Malawi to allow the newly created universities have more autonomy and ability to expand easily.
‘We are very grateful for the gesture. the College of Medicine will soon become an independent university with its on colleges. This dental school could became part of the medical university ..so let’s talk about it and move with speed.’’ Mutharika added.
Professor Jeremy Bagg, head of the Glasgow Dental School, is working through the University of Glasgow and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow to support the College of Medicine in Malawi to establish a Batchelor of Dental Surgery programme and also to establish a national oral health policy for Malawi.
The College of Medicine has been given £100,000 by the Scottish Government to support its transition to a fully independent university.
Professor Simon Guild, Head of the School of Life Sciences, is to support the College in terms of academic governance, ethics and oversight.
Mutharika also met two young Malawians – Nelson Simwela, a PhD student who is working on malaria in the Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parisitology, and Dr Mukanthu Nyirenda, a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, who is working on rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis pathways.
Some of the University of Galsgow’s leading researchers with longstanding links to Malawi also met the President and his party.
Professor Iain McInnes, Director of the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, talked about the Blantyre clinical lab facility at the College of Medicine– a £2million project funded by the Scottish Government, Wellcome Trust and the World Bank to bring educational and health benefits to the people of both Malawi and Scotland, in part by comparing healthy and unhealthy lifestyles in Blantyre in Malawi and Blantyre just outside Glasgow.
His area of specialisation – rheumatology – is a growing health problem in Malawi.