Year Established: 2009

Fields of work Nursing
UK Partner School of Nursing and Midwifery UEA
Developing Country Partner Ekwendeni College of Nursing
Contact --


The partnership started through an impromptu visit by a lecturer of the School of Nursing and Midwifery (NAM), University of East Anglia (UEA) visiting Ekwendeni College of Nursing (ECON).  We were struck by the passion and the vision portrayed by the ECON to developing it’s nursing curriculum and were compelled to respond to their request of support.  Recognizing the value such a relationship would bring to our own school we were interested in adopting a partnership approach, recognizing mutual benefits and encompassing the WHO’s model of ‘twinning’ between North-South collaborating institutions (2002).

The Partnership

In discussion with our ECON colleagues there were a number of fundamental issues that were addressed in ‘The Partnership’.  These were:

  • ECON  and NAM would have different objectives within the partnership
  • A robust long term partnership was needed which would offer benefits to both countriesequally enabling not only NAM students to visit Malawi, but offering Malawi lecturers an opportunity to visit NAM.  The funding for Malawi lecturers needs to be supported as Malawi could not otherwise support a lecturer visiting the UK.
  • Funding over 3 years would be needed to develop a sustainable relationship that can embed partnership working.

Subsequently a successful UEA Alumni bid in 2009 has enabled part funding of third year nursing students on an elective to ECON   and one Malawi lecturer on an exchange every year for three years.


The aims for NAM have been:

  • To enable students to develop a sense of corporate responsibility and global citizenship for example to consider the effects of taking vitally needed health professionals from third world countries to plug employment gaps within our own countries, the resulting impact on those countries and our responsibilities to support the deficit created in those countries.  How can nurses from the developed countries support partners in the developing countries?  This partnership will enable our students to begin to develop an understanding of this global responsibility and sow the seeds to participation.
  • Developing this partnership will not only enable us to meet our global responsibilities as a profession by offering opportunities to Malawi to improve its nursing curriculum, but will have invaluable benefits to health care in the UK particularly and locally by:
    • challenging the ethnocentric approach to health care delivery in this county/country
    • helping to foster a global responsibility in nursing care for the future profession
    • enhancing and enriching students’ cultural perspectives which will have a  positive impact for all patients and more so for the growing number of ethnic minority people living locally.

The aims for Ekwendeni have been:

  • to explore student-centred approaches to teaching and learning
  • to access the international global arena of nursing
  • to develop their current nursing curricula
  • to observe and share different ways of delivering healthcare education
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Reported by Violet Kaonga, lecturer in Nursing and midwifery at ECON (Bsc in Health Services Management, Diploma in Nursing and Midwifery)

The link between UEA and ECON  has bee useful  to improve  nursing and midwifery education. On my visit to the UEA July 2011, I observed mentorship in practice and this  proved to be very effective strategy of delivering education to students in their placements area at UEA. Clinical nurses in the placement areas are trained to be mentors in order to teach students. Nurses and midwives are  equiped with right skills and knowledge on how to teach students in placement areas. This method has been proved to be effecive becuase there is continuity of instruction  to students that is sometimes disrupted when lectures are not available.

At ECON  Lecturers  do all the teaching of students in the clinical placements, but the problem has been that they are not available around the clock becuase they have to do some classrom work and engage in planning for lessons and other activity pertainig to teaching. Hence the need to introduce mentoship to fill the gap created by lecturers when they are away in the placement in areas. Clinical nurses do help in teaching the students during these placements, they have the skills and knoweldge in patient care but not in the instruction of students. Teaching is also part of their role when students are in their placement areas, but it has been observed that this role is not emphased to them.

It is at this juncture that ECON, through exchange vists it has with UEA, plan to introduce  the concept of mentorship in order to improve instruction at its placement areas. The value of the visit to the UEA has been the ability to observe in practice and gain a deeper understanding of the mentor-student relationship which has not been possible to achieve through reading the literature.

Using the plan developed  in 2010  during a seminar conducted by visiting lecturers from the UEA when they came to Malawi, the knowledge gained by one of the lecturer Shouts Simeza during his Master programme at the UEA and my own experience gained through my recent visit we hope to be introducing mentorship to our partner hospital in the forthcoming year.

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Contact Details

Mrs Charlene Lobo
Lecturer Public Health & primary Care

School of Nursing Sciences
University of East Anglia

Tel: 01603 597126

Mr Flemmings Nkhandwe

PO Box 19

Tel: 265 01 339 338