Malawi is a small country of about 12 million people in Southern Africa. Formerly Nyasaland, it was ruled by Hastings Banda after independence from Britain in 1963 until a democratic government was finally elected in the mid 1990s. It is poor in natural resources, trading in tea, sugar and tobacco and relying on money from the IMF, World Bank and donor nations for much of its economy. This has left it one of the poorest countries in the world.
I have visited Malawi twice in the last two years to teach neurology to medical students at the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine in Blantyre. Neurologists have been visiting from the UK to teach since 2001 – Peter Newman, from Middlesbrough in England, taught at the College before me, and still works on epilepsy programmes in the country. As a visiting lecturer I have learned a lot – not just about conditions