PROFESSOR ADDRESS MALATA
WINNER OF THE ECU DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD
MASTER OF NURSING, 1997 AND DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY, 2005
Professor Address Malata is an outstanding leader in the global development of nursing and midwifery education, and in improving maternal health in Sub Saharan Africa. As the first Vice Chancellor of the Malawi University of Science and Technology, she is the first female to hold such a position in her country.
By conferring its inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award on Professor Malata, ECU recognises her remarkable achievements in improving the quality of nursing and midwifery care in low resource setting countries such as Malawi; in addressing gender inequity; and in increasing women’s access to maternity services.
A qualified nurse and midwife, Professor Malata says she is driven by her desire for “a world where no woman should die while giving life and every girl child lives to fulfill her destiny”.
Professor Malata’s PhD research at ECU led to her developing an education framework for Malawian women on childbirth and HIV prevention, which was subsequently adopted by the Malawian government. This has had a huge impact on maternal health in Malawi.
Three years after being awarded her doctorate, Professor Malata was appointed Principal of the Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) at the University of Malawi.
During the eight years she held this role, Professor Malata was instrumental in helping to address a critical shortage of nurses and midwives in Malawi by diversifying KCN’s undergraduate programs and upgrading its Bachelor of Science programs, from six in 2008 to 19 in 2015.
She also spearheaded the development and implementation of six Masters and three PhD programs. By enabling nurses and midwives in Africa to develop research capacity, these higher degree courses help to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes and reduce mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Malata herself has successfully supervised 15 PhD students and 15 Masters students to completion.
In addition, she promoted faculty capacity building, increasing the number of KCN academics with a PhD from five to 36 during her time there.
Professor Malata was Vice President of the International Confederation of Midwives from 2014 to 2017, which is the peak body for the protection, promotion and practice of midwifery globally, and Director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice from 2014 to 2016.
In these roles, Professor Malata became an acknowledged international speaker with industry and academic links to the United Kingdom, the United States, Norway, Germany, Spain, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands and Australia.
She is the first African to be awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Oslo in Norway and to become a Fellow at the American Academy of Nursing. She is also a Virginia Henderson Fellow of Sigma Theta Tau International and an Adjunct Professor of Nursing at Michigan State University.
Her research on maternal and newborn care, and sexual and reproductive health, has been published in internationally recognised peer-reviewed journals. Professor Malata herself sits on several journal editorial boards, and gives her time to numerous health and education boards, including World Vision, Action Aid and National Aids Commission (NAC), among many others.
In 2016, Professor Malata’s achievements were profiled in The Lancet, recognised as the world’s leading medical journal.
“Address is rightly recognised for her success in leadership excellence in academia, in nursing and midwifery, research, and resource mobilization,” says Professor Ellen Chirwa, the current Vice Principal at KCN, who first met Professor Malata in 1983 when she was training to be a nurse.
“She has tirelessly advocated for quality nursing and midwifery care to save lives of mothers and babies in Malawi, and globally.”