three Malawian children eating eggs
Preschoolers in the rural village of Dzama, Malawi are among the more than 1,800 children who receive a daily egg and fortified porridge — and a fighting chance to grow, learn, and escape extreme poverty. The nutrition service is part of UNC Project-Malawi’s community outreach program.

bar of institute colors

UNC Project-Malawi community outreach

Among the projects benefitting the local population at our largest global site are:

  • HIV/AIDS. Close to 800,000 Malawians receive HIV treatment, the primary reason the urban HIV prevalence has fallen from 25 percent to 10 percent.
  • Malaria. In Malawi, we helped prove the new RTSS vaccine is effective, which has led to a program in Malawi that will vaccinate 330,000 children over the next three years.
  • Cancer. As the major supporter of the chemotherapy clinic, pathology laboratory, and cancer registration at the national teaching hospital in Lilongwe, we have developed guidelines and cohorts to better understand common cancers in Malawi and improve local standards of care.
  • Women’s health. Maternal mortality has decreased with an overall significant improvement in women’s health over time due to innovations by our program.
  • Surgery. A team of faculty and students in Malawi has improved the standard of care for almost every aspect of surgery and trauma care including burn management, acute abdomens and head injury.
  • Sickle Cell. We manage a 500-patient sickle cell clinic in Malawi, helping us determine the best screening and care tools for these chronically ill children.
  • Mental health. We have brought out-patient mental health services to Malawi, helping to determine best practices for mental health screening and treatment in primary care settings throughout the region.
  • Adolescent health. By providing youth-friendly health services to adolescent girls and young women in Malawi, we’ve seen an uptake of family planning, STI and HIV screening and care among this vulnerable population. We continue to see a cohort of 2,000 adolescents using this successful model.

HIV/AIDs service and outreach: North Carolina and beyond

In addition to the Infectious Diseases Clinic at North Carolina Memorial Hospital, our faculty affiliates lead the following clinical services:

  • Durham County Health Department: Arlene Seña-Soberano, medical and lab director
  • Lincoln HIV Clinic: Heidi Swygard, staff physician
  • Wake County HIV Care Clinic: Claire Farel, medical director
  • North Carolina HIV/STD Prevention and Control Branch: Heidi Swygard, medical epidemiologist and consultant for special projects
  • North Carolina Department of Corrections, Division of Prisons: Becky White and David Wohl, co-directors of HIV services

Other domestic service initiatives within the Institute include:

  • Behavior and Technology Lab, or BAT Lab. Run by Lisa Hightow-Weidman, MD, MPH, an expert on social media and utilization and evaluation of technology-based interventions addressing the care continuum for youth and young adults, particularly among young men who have sex with men. The BAT Lab seeks to facilitate health behavior change through conducting technology-based research on all aspects of sexual health including factors that impact the acquisition and transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
  • Global HIV Prevention and Treatment Clinical Trials Unit
  • Acute HIV Initiative
  • mHealth Working Group
  • NIH STI Clinical Trials Group
  • Criminal Justice Working Group
  • Health on Wheels is a fully equipped mobile unit, the centerpiece of a program designed to bring clinical research opportunities to people across North Carolina The unit is used to conduct study visits in rural areas and as part of disease awareness and testing activities.  Contact: Erin Hoffman

The Institute also leads a number of training initiatives in North Carolina, including the NC AIDS Training and Education Center.