Malawi: May 2017
I spent the past month working in the Pediatrics Department at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, a small country in sub-Saharan Africa and one of the poorest countries in the world. This facility is a tertiary referral hospital taking referred patients from all over central Malawi and serving a population of about 6 million. It also serves as a clinical site for medical students from the University of Malawi's school of medicine. This extremely busy Pediatrics ward admits as many as 1,000 patients a month during the rainy season and remains understaffed and under resourced. The primary diseases seen in Pediatrics include malaria, malnutrition, diarrheal illnesses, and pneumonia with a very high mortality rate, which is quite different than my experience as a resident in the United States. Other commonly seen conditions include malignancies, HIV, tuberculosis, cerebral palsy, congenital heart disease, and chronic renal disease. This is my third time to travel to Malawi to work during residency and I feel fortunate to continue to be able to serve the children of Malawi and to learn and grow from working in these challenging, under resourced conditions. I am grateful for the Benjamin H. Josephson fund and their support of me while in service to those in need.