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group shot of 4 people at Malawi hospital
Celebrating new pediatric lab, from left: Charles Mwansambo, principle secretary of health for the Malawian Ministry of Health; Rob Krysiak, co-director of the lab; Elizabeth Fitzgerald, U.S. director of pediatric residencies for Project-Malawi; and Msandeni Chiume, pediatric head at Kamuzu Central Hospital.

Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi, celebrated the opening of its pediatric laboratory with a November 14, 2019 ceremony. The collaborative project was led by Elizabeth Fitzgerald, MD, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist, with support from UNC Project-Malawi and funding from the Malawi Children’s Initiative. Rob Krysiak, MS, co-director of the UNC Project Malawi laboratory, provided valuable technical and logistical support.

Kamuzu Central Hospital is the main referral center for Malawi’s central region and admits as many as 25,000 children per year. The new lab will provide multiple serum studies, microscopy, and CSF analysis to significantly improve the standard of care for the hospital’s pediatric patients while improving the education of Malawian medical trainees by improving diagnostic capability.

2 malawi doctors unveil plaque
Chiume and Mwansambo unveil plaque for new lab

The ceremony was attended by Malawi Principle Secretary of Health Dr. Charles Mwansambo, Hospital Director Dr. Jonathon Ngoma, and Pediatrics Head Dr. Msandeni Chiume. Krysiak and Debbie Kamwembo, MS, associate country director for UNC Project, also attended.

Fitzgerald’s work in Malawi is supported in part by the UNC Department of Pediatrics, where she serves as director of pediatric global health; SEED Global Health; and PACHIMAKE, a consortium of institutions committed to improving care at Kamuzu Central.