Norman Lufesi is the Programme Manager for the Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) Control Programme in Malawi. He is responsible for the Control of ARIs especially pneumonia in children. Since 2001, Norman has extensively worked for improving the hospital care for children suffering from pneumonia admitted to Malawian hospitals. Currently he is leading the establishment neonatal care units to deal with neonatal sepsis and other neonatal problems in Malawi. The main strategies he has used is training, monitoring care through onsite supportive supervision and conducting pediatric care audits. He played a major role in the implementation of the Child Lung Health Project that reduced in-patient pneumonia mortality by over 60%. He is also the national Coordinator of the Emergency Triage Assessment and Treatment (ETAT). He has expanded these interventions to over 50 hospitals in Malawi. He serves on a number of national technical working groups that include the Essential Health Care Package, the Quality Assurance, and Monitoring & Evaluation scientific among others. He is among the team advocating for clean cook stoves implementation in Malawi. He led the Quality of Pediatric Care Assessment project in 53 health facilities in 2009. Currently he is leading the adaptation of the WHO Pocket book for Hospital care for children.
Norman’s current research focuses on childhood pneumonia and health systems performance in Malawi. He is involved in several studies such as the effectiveness of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 13 at all levels of the health delivery system in Malawi, analysis the ten years dataset of pneumonia at the ARI Unit in Malawi, the effectiveness of the bubble continuous airway pressure device (developed by Rice University) in Malawi, the feasibility of using mobile phones in improving the identification of emergency signs in critically ill children in Blantyre urban health centres and he is part of the Cook Stoves and Pneumonia Study: A randomized control study. His main interest is to understand how various interventions can work together in the fight against childhood pneumonia in developing countries.
Norman has demonstrated that pneumonia mortality can be reduced if standard case management can be applied even in very rural hospitals where resources are always minimal. In the past four years, he has worked towards improving emergency and critical care in different settings of the health system in Malawi. He has advocated for the availability of oxygen concentrators for all levels of the health delivery system. Also from one of the studies Norman is championing, Malawi will be among the first developing countries to have a database that will allow policy makers, implementers and researchers understands the trends of pneumonia and the predicting factors of for poor outcomes of childhood pneumonia especially at the hospital level. Since pneumonia is the number one cause of deaths globally, the total health impacts of the evidence that can be realized from the several studies Norman is involved can save more lives. He has strengthened emergency care for children in Malawian hospitals through the implementation of the Emergency Triage, Assessment and Treatment. The other major achievement Norman has done is that he has created a network of those working in the area of child survival including the International Simulation Society and the World Federation of Intensive and Critical Care Societies to improve pediatric care in Malawi.