Charles Holmes ’93 was completing his medical education when he lived and worked for three months in Malawi in 1999. The AIDS epidemic there, uncontrolled, was peaking. Desperately sick people lay three to a bed in the Lilongwe hospital where Holmes worked, and where the best medicine on hand could only alleviate their agony until they died.
“Deaths were an hourly occurrence,” he said later. “It was an important and formative experience for me to be a firsthand witness to that tragedy.”
It has shaped his work and interests ever since, he added.
This month, he packed his bags for Africa again, to lead the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, widely considered one of the most effective in-country programs to improve health care capacities in a resource-poor country.
Read more about this Kalamazoo College graduate’s work in Science Speaks: HIV and TB News, a project of the Center for Global Health Policy.