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Using Genetics to Make a Difference

7 December 2018

Dr. Kambe Banda, from Malawi, graduated from Waterford Kamhlaba UWC of Southern Africa in 2000. Upon graduation from UWC, Kambe received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Marymount University in the USA, followed by a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Malawi College of Medicine in 2012. She is currently pursuing her medical career as a Resident in Clinical Genetics at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

Like other UWCers in the field of medicine, Dr. Banda says she chose to be a doctor because she wanted a career that would allow her to help people, “to make a tangible difference in people's lives every day.” She says that albeit challenging, she has found practising medicine in resource-poor settings (such as her native Malawi) very fulfilling. Dr. Banda chose the field of clinical genetics as a speciality because she found that genetic disorders are under-diagnosed in many parts of the world, but have great impact on the affected families: physically, socially and emotionally. “While I was at Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA,” she says, “one of the community service options was a special needs school and it highlighted to me that individuals that are affected by neurological disorders need extra attention and care.” 

Dr. Banda credits her UWC experience with shaping the way she sees, and interacts with, the world. “My time at UWC was the most enlightening time of my life,” she says. “I developed a great interest in, and love for, different cultures (and for travel) through this exposure to people from all over the world. Being in a place that encourages acceptance of all people, regardless of race, religion or creed, instilled a great sense of tolerance in me.”

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