UNC Chancellor: “Global health is here to stay”

Holden Thorp visits UNC’s global health sites in Africa

December 17, 2010 — UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp recently returned from a trip to two of the University’s global health sites:  Johannesburg, South Africa and Lilongwe, Malawi.

Pictured from left: Tisungane Mvalo (gesturing), Holden Thorp, Francis Martinson in a room at Area 18 Health Centre in Lilongwe

Tisungane Mvalo (left) explains UNC's malaria vaccine study to UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp in Lilongwe, Malawi

The chancellor was clearly impressed with our 20-plus-year commitment to Malawi. Yes, UNC faculty members are conducting vital medical and public health research which benefits all of humanity, from rural Malawi to rural North Carolina, but the University also takes a long view, through its commitment to training local health care workers and improving health care infrastructure in the country.

As the chancellor himself said, “The challenge in this kind of work is to avoid what is sometimes called helicopter medicine — where a university team comes in, gets data for a study, and then leaves without really improving the community’s health.

“Not. Gonna. Happen. Here.”

There are several ways you can learn about Chancellor Thorp’s Africa trip:

Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases contact: Lisa Chensvold, (919) 843-5719, lisa_chensvold@med.unc.edu.

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