A group of 13 students from the Faculty of Health Sciences are currently enjoying an eye-opening and educational trip to the central African country of Malawi.
While there the students will be working on a number of different projects, in the hope of enhancing the health and well-being of rural communities.
This is the third year this has been organised by the School of Life Sciences and involves work on specific projects, as well as visits to local schools and hospitals. This enables the students to compare and contrast what they see with their own lives and other communities. Students received financial support from Centre for Global Engagement (CGE) and from their school.
William Gordon, who is studying human biosciences, explained:
“We built fuel efficient stoves out of cheap sustainable materials, teaching one family how to do it so they could show others how to make them as well. This sort of project improves the lives of whole communities and is very humbling.”
Biomedical science student, Saima Juneja, was involved in an educational project about albinism. She said:
“In Malawi there are many people with albinism, but not so many people that understand the condition itself. We did a training session with 59 teachers over a three-day workshop in which we explored the science, community opinions and action plans for the teachers to enhance awareness of the condition and separate fact from fiction.”
Bronagh is studying occupational therapy and was delighted to have had the opportunity to visit a typical hospital. She said:
“I was privileged to visit the Queen Elizabeth and Cure International Hospital in Blantyre. As a healthcare student, being able to compare and contrast the difference in healthcare services will enhance my working in future practice.”
Another biomedical science student paid a visit to a local school and was moved to say:
“This trip has made me realise that education is priceless. There are so many people in Malawi striving for education but who are unable to get it due to lack of funding and limited choices, they either work to help support their family, or study.”