Scots docs to provide obstetrics training for Malawi medics

Scottish doctors and midwives are to train Malawi medical staff in emergency obstetrics to help the country tackle its poor maternal health record.

Scotland’s First Minister Jack McConnell is in Malawi on a five-day visit to the country, where he announced that the Scottish government will support a three-year programme to train 300 Malawi staff in life-saving techniques.

Malawi government statistics show that 1,800 out every 100,000 woman die every year in childbirth. Children under five are 27 more times likely to die than those in Scotland.

McConnell said the statistics for mothers who die in childbirth, and for infant mortality in Malawi were shocking.

“There must be more international aid, but Scotland’s skills and, I hope, our collective generosity can be harnessed to make things better here,” he said.

The cost of the programme – around £120,000 a year – will be met by a grant from the government’s new International Development Fund.

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