College of Medicine (CoM), one of the four constituent colleges of the University of Malawi (Unima), says there has been an improvement in retention of locally-trained medical doctors with about 80 percent working within the country.
CoM vice-principal Macpherson Mallewa said this on Saturday evening during a dinner to mark the end of week-long CoM Silver Jubilee Celebrations in Blantyre.
He challenged the college alumni to fulfil their responsibilities to the nation by dedicating themselves to work and being relevant to the institution by taking part in initiatives aimed at developing the institution.
Said Mallewa: “This college is our national asset. It is high time the relationship with the community changed for the better, knowing that the college is there because of members of the community.
“The alumni should act as ambassa2dors of CoM and take it as their responsibility and obligation to develop the college so that it continues to be an institution of excellence.”
Mallewa’s revelation of 80 percent retention comes against the background of perceptions that most CoM graduates were leaving the country for greener pastures abroad.
He also spoke of the need for the college to be aligned to the Ministry of Health (MoH) as one way of promoting efficiency.
Said Mallewa: “We have a mismatch of responsibilities. We are an education institution yes, but I feel that we should be aligned more to the Ministry of Health because most of our work revolves around this ministry.
“We want the Health Ministry to have direct stakeholder status with the college and I believe this can work better if CoM becomes a university of its own.”
Former vice-president Justin Malewezi challenged the college to be disciplined and at the same time to reject mediocrity to achieve excellence.
He said: “There will be many disruptions in moving towards excellence direction, but you must apply consistent discipline to stay on course, you should not accept mediocrity for mediocrity attracts more mediocrity.”
The theme for the anniversary celebrations was Excellence Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
During the function, several companies, organisations and individuals were awarded with shields of honour for contributing positively towards the development of the college.
Among the recipients was the Anadkat family of the First Merchant Bank (FMB), governments of Norway, Germany, United States of America (USA) and National Aids Commission (NAC) for constructing hostels, lecture theatres, sponsoring education of needy students and contributing towards research, among other projects.
Established in 1991, CoM has produced 756 doctors, 170 pharmacists, 204 medical laboratory scientists, 76 physiotherapists, 188 health managers, 52 specialised clinical officers with bachelor’s degrees, 94 with master’s degrees in public health, 16 clinical specialists and seven at doctorate level.