UNC Global Women's Health

UNC Global Women’s Health (GWH) is a unique group of clinicians, researchers, and public health professionals working to improve the health of women in the world’s poorest countries. Driven by outcomes and intensely practical, the majority of our diverse staff live full-time in Africa. We are not afraid to go after the big problems (e.g., maternal mortality, AIDS in women and children, cervical cancer, obstetric fistula), and we believe big problems can be solved. We believe firmly that real solutions come only by working side-by-side with our African partners. Collectively, we have raised over $200 million in funding for our work from the US government and private foundation sources. Our ultimate purpose is to make discoveries and implement programs that will substantially and measurably improve the health of women living in the world’s poorest countries.

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Our partnerships with Zambia and Malawi have transformed health systems and saved thousands of lives in the process. A sustained investment in our data driven methods is now strongly needed. We see huge gaps in the global women’s health knowledgebase and very few organizations that are equipped to address them. Our team includes passionate thinkers and advocates that reflect the diversity of global women’s health issues: safe obstetrics, preterm birth, obstetric fistula, family planning, and women’s cancers. We want to move quickly, work broadly, and raise the bar for women’s health in the world’s poorest countries. 

We see a future where we continue to work on-the-ground with our African colleagues using data to make discoveries that will substantially and unarguably improve the health of women. Key high-level initiatives defining the future we envision include:

  • Transforming the program approach for prevention and screen-and-treat of cervical cancer globally.
  • Proving a new concept for infant HIV diagnostics that will save the lives of millions of children
  • Exploring the causes of pre-term birth to inform worldwide policy.
  • Using output-driven funding processes to collect data and transform how foreign funders finance surgical activity (obstetric fistula, C-section, etc.) in Africa
  • Structuring a University-to-University engagement model that builds on our history of collaboration to help more Africans lead high-impact, policy-changing research
  • Building African NGO partners that operate at western standards of governance,  financial controls and accountability.
  • Building long-term relationship between UNC GWH and university partners in Malawi, Zambia and other countries
  • Investing in clinical training of both doctors and lower-level providers
  • Investing in data and monitoring infrastructure to better understand health outcomes and inform better programs
  • Building research capacity in-country and continuing to conduct high-impact, policy-changing research with our partners
  • Measurably reducing rates of maternal mortality, stillbirth, and obstetric fistula
  • Measurably reducing rates of other poor obstetrical outcomes
  • Eliminating cervical cancer