UNIVERSITY OF MALAWI
UNIVERSITY OF MALAWI
College of Medicine
DON P. MATHANGA
Don is a medical doctor and epidemiologist with broad research interests in infectious diseases. He is an Associate Professor in Public Health at the College of Medicine University of Malawi. He is also Director at the Malaria Alert Center, a regional resource center specializing in building capacity, through research, for scaling up effective health interventions.
He started his career in public health by working as District Health Officer in Malawi and over the last 20 years he has conducted research aimed at understanding the best methods for reducing childhood morbidity and mortality. As the winner of the 2012 Kenneth Warren Prize, he is a recognized Cochrane Review author who recently was appointed as a key mentor for African researchers interested in systematic reviews by the South African Cochrane Centre. Based on his work and interest in evidence based health care, Don is on several World Health Organization efficacy groups which include: the IPTp and LLINs Evidence Review Groups and the Monitoring and Evaluation Review Group (MERG). He also serves as an expert on the Global Fund Technical Review Panel.
Atupele is a public health specialist and an epidemiologist at the Malaria Alert Centre, a research affiliate at the University of Malawi College of Medicine. Following her completion of PhD training in Infectious Diseases Epidemiology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, she is based full time in Malawi conducting research. Her research focuses on Malaria, HIV and maternal and child health.
She has been involved in large studies in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and reputable national and international institutions including a large four years WHO funded PMTCT cluster-randomized clinical trial as a co-investigator evaluating several PMTCT care models aimed at improving uptake, retention and health outcomes for mothers and infants in PMTCT option B+ programme in Malawi. She was awarded a CIPHER grant by International Aids Society to conduct a pharmaco-vigilance study to evaluate safety in infants exposed to antiretroviral drugs through breastmilk given to mothers during breastfeeding in the PMTCT Option B+ programme in Malawi. Having previously worked as a district health officer in the second-largest district in Malawi for 3 years, she continues working and collaborating with the public health sectorto improve implementation of health programmes in Malawi.
Atupele is also working to advance health research in Malawi especially among women and youth. She pioneered establishment of “Women in Infectious Disease and Health Research Network in Malawi (WIDREM)”, a national network for advancement of research careers for women involved in health research with funding from WHO-TDR. She is an honorary faculty member in the Community Health Department at the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine teaching and supervising postgraduate and undergraduate medical and allied health sciences students.
Wala is a research intern at the University of Malawi-College of Medicine’s Malaria Alert Centre. She is passionate about health economics, having completed of her undergraduate studies in Economics. Her research interests are in the economic evaluation of health care interventions. Wala will support the SIHI Malawi team to plan and implement activities around the identification of solutions and the establishment of the Malawi Social Innovation Hub.
“Although the culture of using social innovation within the context of solving Malawian health problems by Malawians themselves is not well entrenched, there is need to stimulate this culture and create an environment that will enable and capacitate more Malawians to become active innovators. Hence the goal of the Malawi hub is that by the end of 2017, Malawi will have established the social innovation in health hub and gained the confidence, knowledge and skills to further research efforts and also extend the partnership by mentoring other regional universities interested in social innovation.”