Global Public Health, Radiology, and Health Equity
UNC Global Radiology, a RAD-AID Chapter, was founded in 2012 by the UNC School of Medicine’s Division of Radiologic Science and the Department of Radiology. Global Radiology and health equity include issues that transcend national boundaries, like cancer, and that require worldwide, multidisciplinary cooperation — so our partnerships have a Local to Global approach. Our efforts support the vision of UNC Health and advance the university’s aims within the Carolina Next strategic plan.
The aim of our international partnerships is to increase access to medical imaging globally – while supporting local economies with an emphasis on sustainability. We achieve this goal by creating and facilitating educational interventions and collaborations with local healthcare professionals. Our partnerships in Kenya and Malawi are bilateral exchanges in which all colleagues benefit from educational discourse.
In Nairobi, Kenya, we have partnered with the University of Nairobi and RAD-AID International to establish an interventional radiology (IR) fellowship – the nation’s first. UNC IR faculty and staff provide education (hands-on, simulation, and didactic) for Kenyan radiologists, technologists, and nurses. During 2020, the IR fellowship received approval, and the first Kenyan IR fellows have begun the training program. Our faculty, residents, and staff learn from colleagues in Kenya while on-site and through joint virtual educational opportunities, such as simulation, case conferences, and journal clubs. Additionally, we aim to begin an exchange for UoN colleagues to visit UNC VIR after the pandemic to expand on our robust bilateral educational opportunities.
In Lilongwe, Malawi, we are supporting a Malawian physician to complete radiology residency in South Africa and two Malawian radiographers to obtain advanced degrees–with the aim to increase local expertise and capacity. Also, we contribute to a formal curriculum in collaboration with RAD-AID International to increase the ultrasound skills of the imaging technologists with intent to certify. Through this collaboration, we learn together about endemic pathologies and methods for locally appropriate radiology integration to jointly improve health access. Finally, we work with other departments through UNC-Project Malawi and at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) to promote and to educate about relevant imaging appropriateness criteria at KCH.