University of East Anglia nursing lecturers to help nursing schools in Malawi

Nursing lecturers from the University of East Anglia have been selected to provide life-saving health care training to nurses in one of the world's poorest countries.

The scheme, announced by International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, will see skilled health professionals from across Britain teach and offer practical assistance to their counterparts in the developing world.

UEA's school of nursing sciences will work with nursing schools in Malawi to help train overseas health care workers across disciplines including trauma care, mental health, anaesthesia, and maternal and child health.

Health care workers will be tasked with passing on their experience to colleagues in developing countries with practical 'on the job' training by demonstrating their skills on patients. They will also offer one-to-one mentoring, run courses and develop guidelines and protocols to ensure clinics run more effectively.

Julia Hubbard, from UEA's school of nursing sciences, said: 'Our lecturers will support nursing schools in Malawi to develop a programme which will increase the numbers of newly qualified nurses, and improve their capability. 'We hope that this boost will have a major impact on maternal and child health - especially in rural areas.'

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Her colleague Charlene Lobo said: 'It is a unique opportunity for the developed and developing worlds to get together for mutual benefit. We feel particularly honoured as it is one of the first nurse-led projects to win funding from this scheme.'

Partnerships will be encouraged to support the use of innovations in technology, such as live internet link-ups and the use of mobile phones for emergency referrals and operations.

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An electronic database, launched today, matches requests for help from developing countries against offers from other countries, including the UK, to provide health assistance.

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