Impact on national and international health policy and practice is key to the success of both MLW and the College of Medicine (COM). We have long-standing partnerships with key stakeholders in the health sector in Malawi and internationally, particularly in HIV, TB, malaria and rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccine policy. Several senior members of MLW sit on WHO and other policy bodies. We will now formalise this work with a Policy Unit, partnering with the Knowledge Translation Platform in COM, the Cochrane Group in Cape Town, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP), and Regional EVIPNET/WHO centres in Uganda and Zambia. The co-leads of the Policy Unit have international experience in this domain and close involvement with Malawi. Squire leads the Centre for Applied Health Research and Delivery (CAHRD) at LSTM and Zulu is a Malawian demographer leading AFIDEP in Nairobi.
Through the Policy Unit, MLW will develop its direct role in EVIDENT, the National Evidence Informed Decision Making Network for Health Policy and Practice in Malawi supported by DFID. The EVIDENT vision is to improve the health and economic status of the country by engaging with, and facilitating the interface between the “supply” of knowledge and the “demands” of policy and practice (see figure). This communication will both represent MLW strengths and be responsive to the Malawi health sector needs.