Pediatric Critical Care Implementation in Malawi

Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine, Michigan State University, and the University of Maryland are launching a large interventional randomized control trial for severe cerebral malaria in 2018. The trial leverages the newly opened Mercy James Center for Pediatric Surgery and Critical Care (MJC) at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QEH) in Blantyre, Malawi for sharing of both staffing and facilities. Recognizing the challenges involved in integrating various stakeholder groups, and in ensuring the sustainability of the new Pediatric ICU resource and training efforts beyond the term of the RCT, the WUSTL medical research group partnered with the Social System Design Laboratory (Brown School of Social Work) to host a set of workshops with the Michigan and Blantyre teams on site, in Malawi. This was also considered an ideal opportunity to develop a formal platform for testing and refining cross-cultural methods of implementation science in a resource-limited setting. 

SSDL Project Lead

Ellis Ballard

Research Lead

Allan Doctor


October 2017


Blantyre, Malawi

Project Goals

  • Map the involvement of key stakeholders in Pediatric ICU
  • Make explicit the diverse stakeholder mental models of ICU goals, training, staffing, and limitations
  • Develop a common vision/model/language for goals, processes, challenges for ICU by incorporating the voices of those on the front-line and in managerial positions into the planning process