Professor Nyengo Mkandawire, head of surgery at the College of Medicine in Blantyre, next Thursday takes an important step in his academic and medical career when he delivers an inaugural public lecture to mark his entry into full professorship.
The lecture, to be held at Comesa International Conference Centre in Blantyre, is a tradition in the University of Malawi (Unima) to honour those who attain the academic post of professor by giving them a chance to speak about their area of expertise.
“The whole idea of this inaugural public lecture is to share knowledge from the academia with the wider world which can be academic people or any other person interested in the topic,” he said.
According to Mkandawire, the lecture will discuss the global burden of surgical diseases and how they impact the world in general and Malawi in particular.
The university used to run inaugural lectures until 2008 when they stagnated and since then those promoted to full professorship have not had a chance to present the lectures.
Mkandawire said he is happy to be the first person to give a public lecture in the revived tradition which will be followed by a series of other lectures.
“Specifically, I want to highlight surgical issues that affect Malawi. The progression of the talk will be a broad perspective of the magnitude of the burden of surgical diseases. These are not just diseases related to bones; it means all the diseases that need operation, be it of the brain or legs,” he said.
Mkandwire, who is a professor of orthopaedics, said he will also touch on the critical shortage of surgeons in Malawi.