Dr Khumbo Kalua, Research Director, Blantyre Institute for Community Outreach (BICO), Lions Sight First Eye Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi. email: Link
How you have helped GAFFI so far? Conducted review of the current literature of the epidemiology of fungal infections in Malawi. Analysed data and compiled a paper of estimates of the burden of fungal infections in Malawi, highlighting gaps in data collection. Suggested need for further robust data collection methods that could shape the current available data. Has written a paper on fungal infections in Malawi together with GAFFI team which has now been published Kalua 2018.
Personal comment on the major needs in Malawi which GAFFI should be addressing: Fungal infections are a major public health problem in Malawi. In comparison to other medicines listed on the essential medicine list, very few antifungals appear on the essential list. As a practicing eye specialist, of great note is that while most antibiotics, anti -inflammatory and other eye medications can be found either on the essential drug list, when it comes to topical antifungals for eye infections, these are usually not available at all, even in private pharmacies. Efforts to lobby for these to be included on Essential Drug List have yielded very little results. Laboratory diagnosis for fungal eye conditions is non-existent – diagnosis is often based on clinical judgment. GAFFI may assist in having capacity for diagnosing fungal infections.
Links to key fungal/global health institutions in Malawi: Blantyre Institute for Community Outreach (BICO); University of Malawi College of Medicine