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In Malawi, there are only 32 health care workers for every 100,000, citizens and almost 70 percent of nursing and midwifery positions remain unfilled. Efforts to close these gaps are hindered by low recruitment and the challenge of retaining teaching faculty, under-resourced teaching and learning institutions, and limited opportunities for advanced study and career development by practicing nurses.
To improve the quantity and quality of the nursing and midwifery workforce, in 2011, ICAP began partnering with Malawi’s Ministry of Health to strengthen nursing and midwifery education at four partner institutions in the northern, central, and southern regions:
- Kamazu College of Nursing at the University of Malawi
- Malawi College of Health and Sciences
- Mzuzu University
- Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi
Through NEPI, ICAP and partners are addressing Malawi’s challenges to nursing and midwifery education by: supporting the development of the nation’s first PhD program for nurses; providing tuition for nursing and midwifery students; piloting Option B+ online training in prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV; establishing four model teaching wards for HIV skills training; and developing nursing and midwifery education standards to ensure accreditation.
NEPI also supports partnerships between local, national, and international nursing and midwifery institutions involved in pre-service education, promoting south-to-south partnerships with East, Central and Southern African College of Nursing (ECSACON) and the Forum of University Nursing Departments in South Africa (FUNDISA).
- Over 1,900 first-year students enrolled in nursing and midwifery schools
- Over 1,300 students graduated from nursing and midwifery schools
- Over 600 nursing graduates completed training in model wards