Clinical Care at UNC Project


UNC Project provides free clinical care to over 1,700 patients per week. These patients come to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) through the sexually transmitted infections and reproductive health clinic, Lighthouse HIV Clinic, adult medicine ward at KCH, family planning clinic and through voluntary counseling and testing (VCT).

Each UNC Project clinician devotes 20% of her or his time to providing service somewhere in the hospital complex. Currently about 25% of services at Lighthouse are provided by UNC Project staff. UNC Project staff wholly man the STI clinic and the admissions ward at KCH.

General Inpatient Medicine

Malawi Pediatric ward

Pediatrics ward, Kamuzu Central Hospital

Three UNC physician faculty members attend at KCH and make rounds in the medical ward. UNC Project nurses are assigned on a rotating schedule to provide care in the medical ward and the labour and delivery wards.

HIV Primary Care Service

Individuals who test positive for HIV during screening for our NIH-supported clinical trials are referred to the Lighthouse HIV primary care clinic for long-term follow-up or are enrolled in clinical trials providing similar services. UNC Project supports the Lighthouse with personnel, supplies and medication. Currently, nine UNC clinicians, including a UNC infectious diseases faculty member, spend time in this clinic. Antiretroviral drugs are provided free through government health centers. The UNC Project performs CD4 counts and other laboratory tests for patients seen at its clinics and the Lighthouse.


Adult outpatient clinic, Kamuzu Central Hospital

STI Primary Care Services

In conjunction with ongoing and varied sexually transmitted diseases (STI) research projects, UNC Project provides STD management and treatment services to patients presenting to the STI clinic at KCH. UNC Project also performs operations research information for the Malawi Ministry of Health, including monitoring of gonococcal resistance patterns and continued evaluations of the algorithms for the syndromic management of STIs.

Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT)

Through grants from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, USAID and UNICEF, and in collaboration with the Pediatrics Department of KCH, PMTCT services are offered to pregnant HIV-infected women at KCH, Bwaila antenatal care clinic and three Lilongwe district health centers: Kawale, Area 18 and Area 25.

UNC Project’s PMTCT program provides almost half of all PMTCT services in Malawi. It is the largest HIV counseling and testing program in sub-Saharan Africa: 22,000 antenatal mothers in 2006, of which 3200 were HIV positive. All HIV-exposed infants are given nevirapine prophylaxis and receive 18 months of follow-up care. In early 2006, this program started offering CD4 count service for all pregnant women diagnosed with HIV and those with counts below 250 cells/mm3 are referred to the Lighthouse clinic for antiretroviral therapy. The PMTCT program is currently working with other partners in an infant diagnosis program for the central region.


A clinical officer tends to a patient, Kamuzu Central Hospital

Pediatrics Care and Training Program

The chief of pediatrics at KCH, Dr. Peter Kazembe, received an International Leadership Award from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. The award funds a program to train young Malawi medical officers to become pediatricians, train other health care professionals in pediatric HIV care, offer VCT and operate an outpatient pediatric HIV clinic at KCH which has now transitioned to the Baylor HIV Pediatric Center of Excellency.

HIV Pediatric Care Centre of Excellency

The Baylor College of Medicine's Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative, with support from Abbott Laboratories’ Abbott Fund, built a new treatment and care center at KCH. The center opened in 2006 and is operated by Baylor in partnership with the Malawi Ministry of Health and the KCH Department of Pediatrics. Through a memorandum of understanding signed by all three institutions (Baylor, the Ministry of Health, and UNC), UNC Project provided administrative and logistical support during the construction phase of the project, and coordinates family care, referrals and research with the new center.

Lilongwe Medical Relief Fund Trust

UNC was instrumental in creating the Lilongwe Medical Relief Fund Trust. Governed by an independent board of directors with financial management from UNC Project, the trust supports programs to improve the health care of Malawians by receiving and disbursing donations earmarked for specific health care projects. Past recipients of donations include the Kawale, Area 18 and Area 25 district health centers and several community-based AIDS support organizations in Lilongwe and Salima, including the National Association of People with HIV/AIDS Malawi (NAPHAM), Kanengo AIDS Support Organization (KASO) and Salima AIDS Support Organization (SASO)