On November 14th, 2019 the Kamuzu Central Hospital Pediatric Laboratory was officially opened in Lilongwe, Malawi. This collaborative project was led by Dr. Elizabeth Fitzgerald, supported by UNC Project Malawi, and funded by the Malawi Children’s Initiative. Rob Krysiak, MS, co-director of the UNC Project Malawi laboratory, provided valuable technical and logistical support.

Dr. Fitzgerald with Dr. Charles Mwansambo, Principle Secretary of Health for the Malawian Ministry of Health, and Dr. Msandeni Chiume, the Pediatric Head of Department at Kamuzu Central Hospital
Dr. Fitzgerald with Dr. Charles Mwansambo, Principle Secretary of Health for the Malawian Ministry of Health, and Dr. Msandeni Chiume, the Pediatric Head of Department at Kamuzu Central Hospital

Kamuzu Central Hospital is the main referral center for the central region of the country and admits as many as 25,000 children per year. This lab, which will provide multiple serum studies, microscopy, and CSF analysis, will significantly improve the standard of care for pediatric patients at KCH and contribute to improving the education of Malawian medical learners by improving diagnostic capability.

The ceremony was attended by Dr. Charles Mwansambo, the Malawi Principle Secretary of Health, Dr. Jonathon Ngoma, the Hospital Director, and Dr. Msandeni Chiume, the KCH Pediatrics Head of Department. Also in attendance were Rob Krysiak and Debbie Kamwembo, MS, the Associate Country Director for UNC Project.

Dr. Fitzgerald’s work in Malawi is supported in part by the UNC Department of Pediatrics, where she serves as the Director of Pediatric Global Health, by SEED Global Health, and by PACHIMAKE, which is a consortium of institutions committed to improving care at KCH.

Drs. Chiume and Mwansambo, unveiling the plaque
Drs. Chiume and Mwansambo, unveiling the plaque
A plaque dedicating the Kamuzu Central Hospital Pediatric Laboratory, supported by the UNC Project - Malawi
A plaque dedicating the Kamuzu Central Hospital Pediatric Laboratory, supported by the UNC Project – Malawi