Strong ties help UNC, Malawi fight disease

Eight thousand miles separate Chapel Hill and Malawi, a small, landlocked African country. The distance is great, the differences striking – but the ties that bind the two places together are strong.

UNC researchers began working in Malawi more than 20 years ago. Since then, the relationship has deepened as faculty and students help tackle challenges such as HIV, malaria and a lack of basic health infrastructure.

Starting Dec. 12, Chancellor Holden Thorp is visiting UNC Project–Malawi to see Carolina’s involvement firsthand: from participation in an international trial of the world’s most promising candidate for a malaria vaccine and various projects that aim to curb the impact of AIDS, to a host of other research, clinical care and training initiatives that benefit both countries.

View UNC in Malawi in a larger map
On the above map, click on the place marker icons to see photos and descriptions of UNC
projects in Malawi. Use the + and – buttons to zoom in and out, or use your cursor to grab
the map and move it around. You can even click on the “Earth” option in the top right
corner to switch to a 3-D view (requires Google Earth software). Or click here to view
UNC in Malawi on a larger map.

Carolina’s presence is significant. At least 32 faculty from eight different disciplines have ongoing projects and travel to Malawi once a year or more. Six faculty live there full time. About 25 students work in Malawi. They include short-term visits by undergraduates in service or research projects; pre-doctoral students doing research or patient care; residents and fellows on senior clinical rotations; along with other scholars and fellows there for longer stints.

UNC’s National Institutes of Health Fogarty AIDS InternationalTraining and Research Grant has provided degree training for 12 Malawians while dozens of others receive short-term training. UNC activities also employ about 300 local residents, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others.

To learn more, explore the various locations marked on the accompanying map.

Read more about UNC’s involvement in Malawi and other sub-Saharan African countries or UNC Project-Malawi.