Malawi's first dental school opens August


College of Medicine (COM) has secured £11m from the Scottish government’s Malawi Development Fund for the establishment of the first undergraduate dental program.

This becomes the first higher learning institution in Malawi to be offering a Bachelor in Dental Surgery programme (BDS) following the finalisation of the dental department at the college’s campus in Blantyre.

The first intake for the 2019 / 2020 academic year will start in August 2019 at Foundation Year and Year 1.

The BDS is a five-year programme for those entering at Year 1 and six years for those entering at Foundation Year.

Team Leader and Coordinator of Malawi Dental (MALDENT) Project, Dr. Peter Chimimba said establishment of the dental department at COM will reduce the ratio of dentists to patients which currently stands at about 1 to 500, 000.

The country only has about 36 dentists against a population of 18 million.

“In four to five years Malawi will have very qualified dentists trained from within and outside. This will not only reduce the dentist to patient gap but also help in the formulation of policy issues, planning and prevention of diseases,”

Principal of the College of Medicine Dr. Mwapatsa Mipando could not hide his feeling saying he was excited with the development and that the college was looking forward to producing locally trained dentists who will contribute to the timely treatment of dental patients and reduction of dental illnesses.