Friday, Aug. 2, 2013
Anthony Charles, MD, MPH, associate professor in the Department of Surgery who regularly travels to Malawi as director of UNC's Malawi Surgical Initiative (MSI), met with former President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and members of the Clinton Foundation delegation to discuss UNC's outreach with Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH). Joining Charles was UNC resident Anna Tyson, MD, and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital resident Melanie Sion, MD, both currently doing year-long surgical rotations in Malawi. The MSI trains Malawian medical school graduates to be surgeons in a College of Surgeons in East, Central and Southern Africa approved general surgery residency program at KCH.
The initiative also includes work that involves the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center, a division of the Department of Surgery, which is partnered with KCH to improve burn care to Malawi residents. A top priority of the outreach effort includes addressing the problem of burn injury. Similar to many developing countries, the majority of burns in Malawi are pediatric and occur during meal preparation. These efforts also identified a lack of organized burn units at KCH. The first clinical improvement initiative was to create a dedicated burn unit, which opened in 2010. This initiative involved specialized training for the clinicians and nurses of the unit. With support from Johnson & Johnson Global Health, participants from Malawi train at the Johnson & Johnson Burn Centre at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa,
The Clintons were in Africa to visit Clinton Foundation projects in Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, and South Africa which focus on economic growth and empowerment, equality of opportunity, and health access. It was ninth trip to the continent since leaving office.