Surgery and Global Public Health
Anthony Charles, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Surgery
Director of Adult ECMO Program
Thursday, October 20th
UNC Hospital Starbucks
Charles is Associate Professor of Surgery at UNC and is spreading his passion for education near and far. UNC has a long-standing partnership with Malawi. While getting his masters in public health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Charles was invited to Malawi to see one of the projects involving human immunodeficiency virus. During his visit, Charles observed that the trauma burden was substantial, that the availability of surgical services could not keep up with demand, and, in particular, that there was a need for surgical education in Malawi.
Since that first visit, Charles and a team of surgeons and students from UNC have periodically visited Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi, to provide surgical services, conduct training, and perform research through the Malawi Surgical Initiative, a program affiliated with UNC Project–Malawi. Although the initiative had a sustained presence in Lilongwe, the team realized that training Malawians as surgeons would be a more effective public health project. With that idea in mind, Charles spearheaded the effort to create the Malawi surgical residency program, with the intention that Malawian surgeons take over the program’s administrative and training responsibilities after 5 years. Charles was born in Germany, grew up in Nigeria, studied in England, and currently works in North Carolina and Malawi. If there is anyone who understands the complex relationship between global health and local health, it is he.