Emily Hartford, MD
Emily Hartford, MD
Pediatric Emergency Medicine · Seattle, WA

Pediatric emergency medicine in Lilongwe Malawi

April 20th
Lilongwe, Malawi

Project Description

I plan to join a group of volunteer physicians working with local physicians in Malawi to plan out and prioritize training and quality improvement activities for the year at Kamuzu Central Hospital. As a pediatric emergency medicine specialist and quality improvement researcher, I hope to be able to provide input on resuscitation courses, training in triage, and the process of developing evidence based guidelines for common pediatric emergencies. Then through an academic consortium myself and others will help support the full implementation of these activities.

Population Served

Malawi suffers from extreme poverty, high rates of child mortality, and a severe shortage of health care workers.
The Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe is a large government hospital where as many as 25,000 children are seen annually. The mortality in the pediatric department is high but there has been a lot of progress in recent years on improving patient outcomes. There is a consortium of academic universities supporting these efforts and I plan to join them as we partner to improve services and ultimately survival for children in Malawi.

Expected Impact

We expect to complete planning for a full year of training activities at KCH. The potential for impact of these activities is huge given the scope of training and capacity building for local health care workers. There are only approximately 50 pediatricians in the entire country, but the new residency program at KCH is actively training more. These residents will be a key part of all activities and the future of improving pediatric care in Malawi.

Trip Photos & Recap

I was able to join the PACHIMAKE consortium meeting with the leaders of the pediatric department from the Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi and representatives from Texas Children’s/Baylor College of Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s, University of Utah, and University of North Carolina. We had a busy week of recapping the past successes of the partnership and planning the priorities for this next year for clinical care, education, and research. We spent a day at the hospital for in depth planning and to meet staff. I will be relocating to Lilongwe in a few months to continue working full time on this partnership and I’m grateful the support to get started on this important work!