In June 2007, General Surgery resident Jonathan Samuel traveled to Lilongwe, Malawi to meet with surgeons at the Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH). Recognizing the great potential in forming a research collaboration, he returned to UNC and worked with a group of faculty members to develop several research initiatives. One project involved improving the trauma registry at KCH in order to better understand injury epidemiology, while another focused specifically on burn injury in Malawi.
With support from the NC Jaycee Burn Center, Dr. Samuel returned to Lilongwe in July 2008 to conduct a one-year research fellowship. It quickly became apparent that there was an unmet clinical need and opportunity for training local providers, so UNC Surgery in Lilongwe took an active role in these areas as well.
In September of 2008, Dr. Samuel was named a recipient of the Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars Program, which enabled him to spend an additional year (2009-2010) in Malawi. He was joined in his efforts by Adesola Akinkuotu, a UNC third-year medical student and Doris Duke Fellow. His reports follow: