Though beautiful and peaceful,  the World Bank estimates that it is one of the poorest in the world. It has one of the lowest numbers of doctors per capita (1 per 50,000). Rates of mental illness in Malawi are at least as high as those in western and other developing countries. In spite of this mental health services are very underdeveloped. with only 3 trained psychiatrists working in the country: a ratio of one psychiatrist to treat in the region of 6 million people. Two of these consultant psychiatrists were supported through their training by The Scotland Malawi Mental Health Education Project (SMMHEP).

SMMHEP video

project video


SMMHEP aims to help develop sustainable mental health services in Malawi, by supporting psychiatric teaching and training for student doctors and other health care professionals. The project has enjoyed close links with individuals and institutions in Malawi since 2006

We deliver psychiatry teaching to medical students at the Kumuzu University of Health Sciences in Blantyre and support postgraduate psychiatry trainees doing the Master in Medicine course to become the equivalent of Consultant Psychiatrists.  Previous projects include

  • The training of psychiatry nurses and clinical officers in Zomba Mental Hospital, Zomba and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre.
  • Helping fund and organise Annual Mental Health Conferencesbetween 2011-2016 in Malawi that were attended by delegates from Malawi, other countries in sub Saharan Africa, the UK, Europe and the USA.
  • Training primary care health workers in mental health.
  • Development of e-learning material in mental health.

The project has received support from

  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists (London and Scotland),.
  • The Scottish Government.
  • National Health Service Education Scotland (NES).
  • The Tropical Health Education Trust (THET). 
  • Local postgraduate Deaneries and tutors in Scotland.