Dr. Terrie Taylor examining a patient in Malawi.
Queen Elizabeth Central is the largest public hospital in Malawi, with a catchment population of over 500,000 people. All medical care is provided without cost to patients or their families. At the hospital, critically ill children, especially those in coma, are cared for on the Pediatric Research Ward - - whether or not they are taking part in a research project.
On the Research Ward, critically ill children receive close clinical care by nurses dedicated and specially trained to the high standards of the Pediatric Research Ward. Medical testing such as electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), not often available to hospitals in Africa, are routine for these children.
The Malaria Project needs funds to cover patient care expenses for children who are not involved in research studies --- they represent the “service” element of our work.
For instance, some medications are not available at Queen Elizabeth, which is a government funded hospital. Frequently the Project’s clinicians must purchase needed medications from a local private hospital to optimize a child’s care. Money to buy these medicines is provided by donations to the Malawi Fund
Malawi is a country where a high proportion of the population is infected with HIV, the virus responsible for AIDS. Although precautions are taken to avoid infection of healthcare workers and staff, accidents do happen. Each year the Project purchases anti-HIV medications that a healthcare worker who has suffered a needle stick injury involving exposure to infected blood can take to decrease the risk of infection. Money to purchase these anti-HIV drugs comes from the Malawi Fund.
Many children with cerebral malaria have neurologic injuries as a result of their illness. For children who survive but cannot sit alone after discharge, the Project provides “CP (cerebral palsy) chairs”, colorfully painted plywood supports that allow a child to sit up and interact with their family at home. The Malawi Fund is used to build these chairs, sending them home with children who need them.
Pictures below are, bed net education, and attending Malawi patients: