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) and Bwaila district hospital. They come through the sexually transmitted infections clinic, Lighthouse HIV Clinic, adult and pediatric medical wards, antenatal and gynecological clinics, and through HIV testing and counseling (HTC).
Each UNC Project clinician devotes minimum of 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.
General Clinical Care Services
Three UNC physician faculty members attend at KCH and make rounds in the medical ward. In addition, other UNC clinicians attend to the inpatients on a daily basis. UNC Project nurses are assigned on a daily schedule to provide care in the medical ward, cancer clinic and the antenatal and labour wards.
Some UNC Obstetricians and gynecologists attend at KCH and Bwaila Maternity hospital and make rounds in obstetrical and gynecological wards in addition to taking consultant calls at both hospitals. They are also involved in conducting high risk antenatal and gynecological outpatient clinics. The Bwaila Fistula Care Center is managed under the leadership of a UNC Faculty member.
HIV Primary Care Services
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 laboratory services. Currently, UNC clinicians, including a UNC infectious diseases faculty member, spend time in this clinic. Antiretroviral drugs are provided free through government health centers.
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 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)
UNC Project provides technical support for PMTCT program in Lilongwe district under Lilongwe Medical Relief Fund Trust. UNC nurses are scheduled on a daily basis in antenatal clinic at Bwaila maternity hospital to provide PMTCT services. The nurses also provide mentorship on PMTCT program at the hospital and the Lilongwe district health centers.
HIV Pediatric Care Center of Excellence
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, Baylor College of Medicine-Abbort Fund Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence, 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.
Pediatrics Care and Training Program
In addition to services provided at the Pediatric ward, UNC Project personnel also provide pediatric care services at the Pediatric Clinic and in Bwaila Newborn Nursery.
The chief of pediatrics at KCH and the executive director of Baylor College of Medicine-Abbort Fund Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence Center of Excellence, Dr. Peter Kazembe, received an International Leadership Award from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. The award funded 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 College of Medicine-Abbort Fund Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence Center of Excellence.
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)