Malawi research journal: blog from Sharon Youmans PharmD, MPH

In this series of regular reports, Sharon Youmans, PharmD, MPH, faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, shares her personal story during her 3-week research stay in The Republic of Malawi in southeastern Africa.

The goals of Youmans’ research project are to describe how religious groups and traditional healers function together and/or independently in Malawi to help people with HIV/AIDS and to identify any barriers that Malawians living with HIV/AIDS experience in treatment and care.

This project is part of a larger research grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to study numerous aspects of the roles of five religious groups in Malawi in HIV/AIDS prevention and care. It has been operating since 2006.

Malawi is one of Africa’s poorest countries. 900,000 of Malawi’s 13.6 million adults and children are living with HIV/AIDS. Youmans, with Sally Rankin, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor and chair, Department of Family Health Care Nursing, UCSF School of Nursing and lead investigator of the larger NIH grant, arrived in Malawi on Monday, July 7, 2008 to begin gathering data for Youmans’ research project. This is Youmans’ story.

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Sharon Youmans’ Research Journeys to Malawi

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.