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Free Content Teaching tuberculosis control to medical undergraduates: the Malawi experience

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SETTING: National Tuberculosis (TB) Control Programme (NTP) and College of Medicine (COM), Malawi.

OBJECTIVES: To develop a TB/HIV module, incorporating TB control and the DOTS strategy, for 4th year medical undergraduates. To describe 1) the way in which the module was developed, 2) the contents and structure of the module, 3) the experience of teaching the module from 2000–2002, and d) the financial costs to the NTP.

DESIGN: A descriptive study.

RESULTS: The TB/HIV module, including the teaching manual, resource materials and undergraduate assessments, was developed between June and December 1999 by NTP, College of Medicine, interested stakeholders and an external consultant. The module was well received by medical undergraduates. Student knowledge, based on pre-module and post-module assessments, increased to satisfactory levels. Novel aspects of teaching, which included reading chapters in class followed by student-led knowledge reviews, modular assessments and using NTP staff as facilitators, were highly rated. The cost of developing the module was US$14070, and the recurrent annual cost of teaching the module was US$900.

CONCLUSION: The results show that a national tuberculosis control programme can work effectively with an academic medical institution in teaching medical undergraduates the important principles of country-wide TB control.
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Keywords: Malawi; medical schools; tuberculosis control

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Lilongwe, Malawi 2: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Publication date: 2003-09-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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