Meet some of our students

Tiwonge

Tiwonge is from the northern region of Malawi. She is the main breadwinner in her family, supporting her father, brother and sister. Tiwonge recently got married and also has a young daughter. The remaining family members rely on subsistence family.

Tiwonge attended government primary and secondary schools.  After school Tiwonge was sponsored by the Malawi government to complete a Diploma in Clinical Medicine at the College of Health Sciences. It was through her work as a clinical officer that she was exposed to the challenges related to optometry. 

She states, “I have a passion to save and touch the lives of those who are experiencing health challenges and that’s why I would like to save my nation because am concerned with the challenges that people are facing due to shortage of trained personnel in the health sector especially when it comes to delivery of health services and more especially it is worse in the optometric sector where for example there are only 50 optometrists in the whole country against the population of 18 million and out of those 50 only 6 are female. I have been encountering many patients with challenges related to optometry but since I did not have enough knowledge on how to help them it was an issue of concern to me and now that’s why I have opted to go for this programme in order to acquire the relevant skills to help those who are lacking such assistance.”

There is great scope for optometry in Malawi.  Glasses enable children to go to school and learn, widening their educational opportunities and futures.  Reduction in site problems keeps people active and earning a living.