Giving thanks, building the future of women’s health in Malawi

The day before Americans celebrated Thanksgiving, the UNC ex-pat community in Malawi—in fact the entire country of Malawi—had something wonderful to be thankful for.

That day marked the official (ceremonial) launch of the first residency training program in obstetrics and gynecology in Malawi. The inaugural class of residents started training in October. They are: George Chilinda, Priscilla Mvula, Priscilla Phiri, and David Zolowere.

UNC collaborates with the Malawi College of Medicine on this four-year residency program. The goal is to have a qualified OB/GYN consultant in every district hospital within 10 years. This has the potential to save thousands of lives and dramatically improve the health of women throughout the country. Other partners in this effort include the U.S. CDC, the Norwegian government, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Baylor College of Medicine, and private donors.

Attending the launch ceremony were the Malawi Minister of Health Catherine Gotani Hara, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Malawi, Mike Gonzales, the head of the residency program, Dr. Ron Mataya, the Principal of the Malawi College of Medicine, and other dignitaries.

Jeff Wilkinson, the UNC OB-GYN in Malawi who led the effort to establish the residency wrote, “The UNC team here in Malawi and back in the U.S. is absolutely thrilled that this effort has finally taken wings.”

This is indeed something to be thankful for.

The inaugural cohort of the Malawi OB-GYN residency program. From left to right: Priscilla Mvula, David Zolowere, Priscilla Phiri, George Chilinda

The inaugural cohort of the Malawi OB-GYN residency program. From left to right: Priscilla Mvula, David Zolowere, Priscilla Phiri, George Chilinda

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5 Responses to Giving thanks, building the future of women’s health in Malawi

  1. Jeff Stringer says:

    This is such an inspiring story. Godspeed to the new registrars.

  2. John Thorp says:

    Stringer is stealing my words which I guess is OK for the son of a Donne scholar.
    All jokes aside I am so thankful to work in a University that invests time and money in young clinicians such as these who literally can make childbirth safe in Malawi.

    Momentous day!!

  3. Lisa Chensvold says:

    One of Stringer’s parents was a John Donne scholar?!? The things you learn. . .

  4. Congratulations! We are hoping for the bright future of Malawi as they strive for quality health care for women. We know that healthcare system in Malawi often makes headlines for its shortages of drugs and medical workers, may they continue in training more specialist physicians to improved the quality of health care not only for women but for all the native people in Malawi. I know it is a process that will simply take time.

  5. Thanks the UNC team for their great work in Malawi

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