Terrie has been working in Malawi since 1986. She spends six months of the year there, conducting malaria research and treating patients, the vast majority of whom are children. The Blantyre Malaria Project, established by Terrie and Malcolm Molyneux, has carried out outstanding research and patient care in the area of pediatric malaria, specifically cerebral malaria, a syndrome in which the brain is involved.
Terrie’s colleague, Dr. Malcolm Molyneux, has been along for every step of the Blantyre Malaria Project, as well as watching the landscape of medicine change in Malawi. Read his fascinating take on 40 years of practicing in the warm heart of Africa.
Excerpt from the Malawi Medical Journal, Volume 28, issue 3
During this period, my wife and I were in the UK, but we visited Malawi at least every year. The good news was that in 1986 the Life President approved the recommendations of the Tripartite Committee (on which I was privileged to serve) for the founding of a medical school in Malawi. The bad news was that the HIV epidemic mushroomed like a nuclear or volcanic cloud, with the prevalence of the infection in women attending the antenatal clinic, for example, rising from 0% to 31% between 1984 and 1995. In retrospect, these early years constituted the worst phase of the epidemic, both for its victims and for the health profession, because therapy was not available to any but a tiny minority of the wealthiest among the population. For the huge majority, treatment was temporising, and the fear of stigma kept many from seeking it. The global provision of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and Malawi’s acquisition and distribution of this measure throughout the country have been spectacular achievements in response to a devastating situation.