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.