HSL partners with Malawian Library
Since 1999, UNC and the Malawi Ministry of Health have partnered to develop and run a health research training program through the UNC Project-Malawi. “The mission of UNC Project−Malawi is to identify innovative, culturally acceptable, and relatively inexpensive methods of reducing the risk of HIV/STI and infectious disease transmission through research; strengthen the local research capacity through training and technology transfers; and improve patient care for the people of Malawi.” The project seeks to lessen the burden of disease in Malawi through research into treatment and prevention measures for diseases, as well as through training health care providers in order to address the shortage of providers for the population (currently 2 per 100,000 people).
As part of the growing partnership between UNC and Malawi, a library was included in the construction of the Tidzewe Center in the capital city, Lilongwe. UNC Project Librarians Ruth Mwende and Bernard Chilombe at the Tidzewe Library have worked together with librarians at the UNC Health Sciences Library to develop the Tidzewe library’s collections, services, and information technologies. As part of the partnership, Ruth Mwende and Susan Swogger (UNC Collections Development librarian) have traveled between Chapel Hill and Lilongwe, Malawi–Ruth Mwende visited Chapel Hill in 2008, and in 2009, Susan Swogger traveled to Lilongwe. The mutual visits have helped improve library relations and understanding of the needs of the Tidzewe Library.
The Health Sciences Library has also developed an information resource guide for Project Malawi. The guide serves as a portal for researchers, including links to journals, resources, and recent scientific research about infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, STIs, and others that affect the population of Malawi.