In response to the growing numbers of patients diagnosed with cancer the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH), Blantyre, Malawi established the country’s first oncology unit in 2010. A healthcare partnership was established between the Edinburgh Cancer Centre, NHS Lothian, and the QECH oncology unit in 2012 with the principal objective of establishing high quality multi-disciplinary cancer care in Malawi.

To have an effective and sustainable cancer centre, we believe it is essential to have effective data management to organise clinical care so that

  • information on workload and outcomes can be monitored;
  • multidisciplinary team working to ensure that decisions on patient care are best informed;
  • and robust evidence-based protocols that support most clinically effective and safe evidence-based practice.

Project 1 (2013-2016)

The main aim for this project is

The development of an integrated cancer and palliative care unit at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre promoting high quality, safe and effective treatment for patients with all stages of cancer.

This will be achieved through the following outputs:

  1. Development and implementation of a clinical management system for patients attending QECH cancer unit providing robust data on cancer incidence and outcome;
  2. Implementation of monthly multi-disciplinary team meetings where treatment decisions on all complex patients with cancer are made;
  3. Development and implementation of oncology and palliative care protocols for treatment of common cancers including Kaposi sarcoma, lymphoma and breast cancer.

Project 2 (2015-2018)

The main aim for this second project is

To achieve and demonstrate improvement in breast cancer treatment at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre through development of multi-disciplinary care and enhanced pathology.

This will be achieved through the following outputs:

  1. Implementation of oestrogen receptor (ER) testing to allow appropriate targeted use of anti-oestrogen therapy (tamoxifen);
  2. Implementation of multi-disciplinary breast cancer care ensuring high quality, holistic patient care;
  3. Development of systematic follow up for patients with all stages of breast cancer informed by qualitative work on compliance with treatment.

Project Team

This grant is led by Dr Ewan Brown, with Global health Academy members Dr Dermot Gorman, and Professor Marie Fallon.


Funding for both projects (2013-2018) has been given by the Scottish Government International Development Fund for Malawi.

More information

Edinburgh Malawi Cancer Partnership