Above: Yolam volunteering with other healthcare workers at Chitipa Prison.

Yolam Kamene is one of Ammalife’s Changemakers and the current Joseph O’Hare scholarship student. Yolam joined the University of Malawi in August 2014 to undertake two years of premedical studies. He has now finished his third year of clinical study, passing with excellent marks, and has already been making waves in Malawi, putting his learning into practice and passing on his knowledge to local maternal healthcare workers.

 ‘Since I began my studies, Ammalife has been supporting me with my tuition fees which was a very big challenge for me. I’ve just finished my third year of clinical studies and I’m happy to say that I am progressing well with no struggles from the academic point of view. I’ve maintained my performance both in the basic medical science modules and during the clinical years. I have enjoyed the clinical years the most; this year I studied several interesting modules including Paediatrics and Child Health, Community Health, Internal Medicine, and Surgery.

‘As a practicing clinical officer with an interest in clinical work, I always go to the hospital during the holidays to practice, which gives me an opportunity to maintain my knowledge and skills. I’m currently on holiday working in Chitipa District Hospital in the northern part of Malawi bordering Tanzania to the east and Zambia to the west. My favourite place to work is in the gynaecology and obstetrics ward and it is my hope to work in this field in the future.

Above: Yolam helping to facilitate a neonatal resuscitation workshop for nurses and clinicians.

‘Whilst I am here in Chitipa I have been supervising an intern clinical officer, Blessing Myaba, who is working with me in the maternity ward. We’ve been working together in the hospital’s operating theatre performing various surgeries, such as caesarean sections. I have also been involved in facilitating continuing professional development for nurses and clinicians on neonatal resuscitation at the hospital. Participants were divided into small groups and I took charge of one of these groups. This was done as part of improving the knowledge and skills of health workers in neonatal care.

‘I also volunteered to help with a project at Chitipa Prison, screening the health of the prisoners. I performed clinical work such as examining the prisoners for any medical conditions, noting down any history of previous health conditions and prescribing treatment. We worked together to screen the patients for TB, referring some patients for x-rays. HIV testing was also carried out and some prisoners were offered counselling. Very sick prisoners were referred to the district hospital for further investigation and management of their conditions.’

Above: Yolam and intern Blessing Myaba prepare to conduct surgery at Chitipa Hospital.

Congratulations Yolam for your excellent exam results and for your dedication to improving the standards of healthcare in Malawi! You can read more about Ammalife’s Changemakers programme here.