2014 Press Releases

From New York to Cork (and Malawi)

11 Jul 2014
L-R: The Irish Fulbright Commission's Colleen Dube visits UCC recently to commend the work of Visiting Fulbright Scholar Professor Nathalis Wamba. City University New York's Professor Wamba gave valuable expertise on the Supporting LIFE and CREATE projects during his five-week visit. Photographed were: Deirde Ryan, Supporting LIFE, Professor Nathalis Wamba, Queens Colleges, City University New York, Siobhan O'Connor, Supporting LIFE, Yvonne O'Connor, Supporting LIFE, Colleen Dube, Executive Director of the Irish Fulbright Commission and Tim O'Sullivan, Supporting LIFE. Photo by Tomas Tyner, UCC.

An initiative to develop the knowledge and skills of community healthcare workers and third level teaching staff in Malawi is set to directly benefit from research at UCC.

Professor Nathalis Wamba, a Professor of Education at Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY), recently completed a Fulbright Specialist Scholarship at UCC. He spent five weeks working with a team of academic staff and researchers in the Department of Accounting, Finance & Information Systems to develop a new international consortium for capacity building in developing countries such as Malawi in Africa.

This strategic research and education group which consists of academic faculty at UCC, CUNY and Mzuzu University, Malawi are working to build a new campus at Mzuzu University dedicated to eHealth and eLearning. The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to support healthcare professionals and patients in low resource settings such as Malawi is growing given the proliferation of low cost mobile devices in Africa and widely available network coverage even in rural and remote areas.

The Supporting LIFE Institute will be a brand new facility at Mzuzu University campus dedicated to training both faculty and local community healthcare workers on eHealth and how they can use innovative digital tools in primary cares settings to improve maternal and child healthcare among others. The project has been funded by UCC’s Strategic Research Fund and the Staff of HSE (Cork & Kerry) Association for Poverty & Relief (S.H.A.R.P).

Dr John O’Donoghue who leads the UCC group describes this ‘Supporting LIFE’ initiative as: “...a novel way to develop the knowledge and skills of community healthcare workers and third level teaching staff in Malawi.”

“International multidisciplinary collaborations are essential to mobilise resources and skills across continents to invest in capacity building in Africa both in terms of physical infrastructure and staff development”, Dr O’Donoghue continues.

“The new eHealth research and education centre that will be launched at Mzuzu University in northern Malawi early next year is a significant outcome of our work and will have a huge impact on the ground. We were delighted Nathalis, who spent twelve months teaching and researching in Malawi, could join us through the Fulbright programme and lend his expertise to the development and implementation of this exciting initiative. Thanks to Nathalis’s input and guidance, we now have a number of very exciting events and projects on the horizon to build on the very productive relationship.”  

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF