Malawi: Health Workforce

Kamuzu College of Nursing in Malawi has implemented an interprofessional MSc program in Reproductive Health. This program aims to equip graduates with a better understanding of the skill sets of other practitioners, build their own scope of practice, and prepare them to collaborate in a cross-disciplinary field.1 Prior to implementation of the program, a diverse group of stakeholders from the college conducted a situational analysis to better understand the landscape of reproductive health and the gap they intended to fill. They found that Malawi had strong national commitment to reproductive health but progress was hindered by inadequate human resources and nonexistent domestic reproductive health training programs. Through this program, they intended to bolster the workforce, improve delivery of reproductive health services and ultimately contribute to improved health outcomes. After this initial analysis, the college assembled teams of professors from fields including bioscience, statistics, reproductive health, public health, and gender to develop an interprofessional curriculum. The curriculum that was subsequently designed was intended to prepare graduates to have strong content knowledge of reproductive health, cultural sensitivity, awareness of opportunities for innovation and creativity, legal and policy knowledge, skills to design and deliver community-based care, and research skills. This program was facilitated by robust training for faculty and existing links with non-nursing colleges. It is important to note that this program was specifically for nurses and midwives and did not focus on training with other cadres. Rather, the curriculum was designed to promote an understanding of other disciplines and prepare nurses for multidisciplinary work. More details on this program including academic module descriptions are included in the WHO’s case study of this program.