UNC Surgery Partnership with Kamuzu Central Hospital: Strengthening Clinical Care, Training, and Research with a Long-Term Vision

Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) is the tertiary referral center for the central region of Malawi, serving about 5 million persons. Estimates of the hospital’s size range from 600 to 1000 beds; actual occupancy always exceeds intended occupancy. The hospital, centrally located in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, has five floors, four operating theatres, one ICU with four beds, and a radiology department with plain films and ultrasound (no CT, MRI, or trained radiologist). The only pathologist in Malawi works in Blantyre, about 200 miles to the south, and consequently pathology results take three months to obtain.

The University of North Carolina began work in Lilongwe almost twenty years ago through the efforts of the Division of Infectious Diseases. Over the years, this has evolved into a large-scale clinical care and research program known as the UNC Project. Additionally, the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases and the UNC Center for Global Initiatives, both committed to improving health in North Carolina and around the world, have been key supporters of work in Malawi.

In June 2007, General Surgery resident Jonathan Samuel traveled to Lilongwe, Malawi to meet with surgeons at KCH. His visit launched a special relationship between UNC Surgery and this under-served region that continues today.  Read resident reports:

July 2007 to June 2010: Dr. Jonathan Samuel

July 2010 to July 2011 and January to June 2012: Dr. Javeria Qureshi

February 2011 and October 2011: Dr. Clara N. Lee

June 2011 to May 2012: Dr. Michelle Kiser

June 2012 to May 2013: Dr. Laura Boschini

UNC's Department of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery also has an active presence in Lilongwe.  Read about The Malawi Surgical Initiative.