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Dalitso Ndaferankhande Awarded Wellcome Trust DELTAS PhD Scholarship

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Dalitso Ndaferankhande Awarded Wellcome Trust DELTAS PhD Scholarship

Dalitso came to MLW with limited research experience but a lot of passion for the mental health field in Malawi. Awarded a core pre-PhD internship, she explored the psychological and social experiences of parents who lost a baby either from stillbirth or from other causes within the first week of life under the supervision of Dr Moses Kumwenda and Dr Robert Stewart.

“My pre-PHD internship in the Maternal and Fetal Health research group has been a pivotal and profoundly enriching experience for my research career. The programme gave me tools to develop my research skills in project management, data collection, and analysis, and presented many opportunities to learn from seasoned researchers through the various platforms of journal clubs and project progress meetings. As a result of good mentorship and networking with senior researchers and PhD students from my research group, as well as support towards applying for funding opportunities, I have experienced great career wins”.

In 2023, Dalitso was successful in her application for a competitive institutional translational partnership award (TPA) worth £11,994 to create a skills training manual in a type of therapy called Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for people without mental health expertise to help manage the mental health of adolescents in Malawi. In that same year, she was invited by the World Health Organization(WHO) to sit on their technical working group for maternal and perinatal well-being. Recently, she has been awarded a fully funded Wellcome Trust DELTAS scholarship under the African Mental Health Research Initiative Programme (AMARI) to study a PhD in Mental Health, Neurological and Mental Disorders at the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KuHES). She will be building upon the internship to co-design an intervention for perinatal bereavement support in Malawi.

Asked on her reaction to this award, Dalitso narrated, “I am very excited and honoured to have been awarded a PhD scholarship to study a topic that is under-researched yet impacts the lives of many families in Malawi and around the world. I am especially excited about contributing to the growing body of Malawi-tailored mental health research and I’m committed to making the most of this incredible opportunity.

Well Done Dalitso!!!

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