Strong ties help UNC, Malawi fight disease

UNC researchers began working in Malawi more than 20 years ago. Since then, the relationship has deepened as faculty and students help tackle challenges such as HIV, malaria and a lack of basic health infrastructure. This week, Chancellor Holden Thorp is visiting UNC Project–Malawi to see Carolina’s involvement firsthand and blogging about his trip along the way.

So far, Dr. Thorp has written two blog posts about his trip, "Building a physician-scientist pipeline," and "Malawi report: mixing medicine and music."

Carolina’s presence in Malawi is significant. At least 32 faculty from eight different disciplines have ongoing projects and travel to Malawi once a year or more. Six faculty live there full time. About 25 students work in Malawi. They include short-term visits by undergraduates in service or research projects; pre-doctoral students doing research or patient care; residents and fellows on senior clinical rotations; along with other scholars and fellows there for longer stints.

UNC’s National Institutes of Health Fogarty AIDS InternationalTraining and Research Grant has provided degree training for 12 Malawians while dozens of others receive short-term training. UNC activities also employ about 300 local residents, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others.

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