Becoming a pharmacist in Malawi

Jezman#1The Hamilton FHT has been involved with the World University Services of Canada (WUSC) and the Leave for Change program for a few years now. As you may recall from this blog, all that started when Jay Graydon (CFO at Hamilton FHT) went to St. Joseph’s hospital and help their finance department. The following year more people got involved and the next year even more. Helping out people in Malawi, Botswana, and other countries in Africa. Jay had spoken to me after his trip and discussed areas where my skills may be of help. The following winter I was on my way to Malawi and St. Joseph’s hospital to help at the pharmacy department. During my stay I worked mostly with Jezman Vallan a pharmacy technician and Sister Mary. It was the hope of Sister Mercy, the administrator of the hospital to eventually get a pharmacist as the hospital is in great need for such a professional. This was something that she had expressed during my visit but nothing more. Almost 10 months later, to my surprise, I receive an e-mail from Jezman indicating that he had been accepted to the pharmacy program of Rhodes University in South Africa. The program was starting in 2 weeks and unfortunately was unable to attend due to lack of money. Opportunities like this do not come often is ever in the life of a Malawian. This desire to improve himself, the goal of becoming a pharmacist and helping out his community resonated with several of us pharmacists but also other Hamilton FHT staff members and family members. Within these 2 weeks after getting the initial request we were able to collect sufficient funds to send Jezman to Rhodes University in January 2014.

Since then, Jezman has been performing very well and will be completing the second year of his 4-year program in November. He is very focused, he is smart, has good marks and is eager to apply his newly acquired knowledge to his setting of St. Joseph’s hospital. During the break between the second and third year he will be returning to Uguludi to work at the hospital.

Jezman_in_labHowever, for him to be able to actually go back to Rhodes University for his 3rd year, he will need our help. Each year, Jezman needs about $12,500 CDN for the bare requirements to go to school.  Obviously, this is not something that I can do on my own but as a group I think that we can do it as some of us have done it for the last 2 years. Since the start of this project some people have retired making their ability to contribute very difficult. We need some other donors to participate otherwise Jezman will not be able to complete his program. Because we are partnering with WUSC a charitable organization, you will be able to get a tax receipt for your donation which correspond to approximately 40% of the amount donated. The administrative fee for WUSC is 12% which is very low and I make sure personally that all donations make their way directly to Rhodes University. Jezman has a work bond with St. Joseph’s hospital and he will be working as a pharmacist for the first 6 years after graduation as repayment for his educational expenses.

Please donate

Select the category “General”. In the message box, indicate that this donation is related to the project “Jezman Vallan – Pharmacy School, Rhodes University”.

Thank you very much for all of your help.



2 thoughts on “Becoming a pharmacist in Malawi

  1. Dear Anthony, Good to hear from you and I will see if I can contribute to Jezman’s support (from UK ,possibly via my brother who lives in Hamilton, Canada). I do, however, wonder why he did not seek entry to the School of Pharmacy at the University of Malawi in Blantyre. Surely it would have been cheaper? Perhaps it is to do with WUSC contacts there?Delighted to hear you good folk in Canada are supporting this deserving young man. He should be encouraged to join the Pharmaceutical Association of Malawi (if he is not already a member as a Technician) on his return from South Africa. If he contacts the Malawi School he will find an ex-Rhodes member of staff (Dina Kamowa).If he needs more contacts at PHASOM or PMPB I know several pharmacists there, former graduates of the Malawi School when I was HOD . Warm regards, Mike Berry

    Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2015 16:08:54 +0000 To:

    • Hi Mike,

      I agree the if Jezman had gone to the school of Pharmacy in Malawi the cost would have been much more affordable even if it was only with respect to the accommodations. I am not sure what was the initial motivation to go to South Africa. Is it possible for students to transfer to the University of Malawi mid program?

      I would really appreciate if you could contribute financially to the education of Jezman. So far we do not have enough funds to cover his 3rd year.

      I will relay your information to Jezman regarding the associations and contacts in Malawi.



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