2014 Malawi - Malaria Prevention

Malaria prevention in school-aged children in rural Malawi

Summer 2014

Led by Miriam Laufer, MD, MPH, School of Medicine

Students (school affiliation): Mena Gaballah (pharmacy), Sarah Kaslow (medicine), Wilhelmina Lord-Adem (pharmacy)

Project description:

Three students from the Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy accompanied Dr. Miriam Laufer to Malawi to participate in the research studies that she leads with her collaborating research partner, Blantyre Malaria Project. The project focused on collecting baseline information about the health of school-age children in rural Malawi (ages 6-16 years with a focus on the 12-16 year old group). The information gathered was used to help shape an intervention designed to decrease malaria among school-age children and also target young women who might be pregnant. The students interacted and collaborated with district health officers, school administrators, clinicians and research study staff.

Student reflection

"After working with other students and interacting with patients and healthcare professionals in Malawi, I finally gained some understanding of the inextricable link between culture, politics, and the provision of healthcare. I now understand that when it comes to healthcare, what seems to be a simple problem with easy solutions may not be simple at all – it may have some underlying complicated social, cultural, and political causes, all of which must be considered in order to develop effective, culturally acceptable solutions. This experience helped me to (finally) understand why treatable and preventable infectious diseases continue to be a major problem in many developing countries." -Wilhelmina Lord-Adem, School of Pharmacy

Read about past interprofessional projects in Malawi led by Dr. Laufer.