Monday, August 21, 2017

More visitors and National Church Conference

This past week I was very busy with visitors again.  We aren't letting the beds get cold!  Monday and Tuesday were holidays here--Hero's Day (similar to Veteran's Day in US) and so we were able to work half day at the hospital.  

Just before lunch I had a visit from the Dr. Erik Scharrer family from Nhowe Mission Hospital.  This is a Church of Christ non-instrumental mission northeast of Harare.  They came by to visit our hospital and share about how we do things that might help them.  I was happy to spend the afternoon with them before they traveled on to Harare and then home.

At 6:30 p.m. David Green from Marondera in Zimbabwe (East of Harare) showed up with 4 brothers--The Lachowscy's .  David spent a month with us in December last year as he is still trying to pursue a job in health care.  The brothers are all in medical school in Poland and were out visiting his family so they came to see a hospital in Zimbabwe.  They were able to do rounds two days with the doctors and help with some surgical procedures.  They seemed to really enjoy it.

On Tuesday afternoon Dr. David Katzenstein and 6 others joined us for 2 days to talk about our research grant from Gilead that we were granted recently.  We spent 2 days working out some of the details.  We were happy to have Dr. Anat from Israel back with us.  She is a medical anthropologist and helping us in finding some answers about our adolescent ART program.  She brought me some dates from Jerusalem--wow!!

Thursday morning I left early for Major and I to meet with the Japanese Embassy.  They have accepted an application for us to get a Fuji digital X-ray developer.  We went to orally present our need.  They will be making a site visit in September and let us know by February/March 2018 if we have been granted this wonderful gift.  This is something we really need and would dramatically cut down on the cost of X-rays for our patients from $20 a film to $1!!  Please pray for this to go through!

Friday morning at 3 a.m. 7 of us left for Mashoko Mission for our annual National Church Conference.  We arrived at 9 am in time for the morning meetings.  Major preached at 11 am.  We spent the night and left in the afternoon on Saturday arriving in Harare at 10 p.m.

Major and the other 4 slept until 3 a.m. and then left for Chidamoyo.  Carolyn Mereki and I stayed in Harare to do some shopping and doctor appointments and get our nails done in the morning.  The driver from Chidamoyo will be in tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday) to pick us up!

Dr. Erik Scharrer


Dr. Erik Scharrer family with friend Taka and Kathy


 Dr. Isala making rounds with David Green and Lachowscy brother

Lachowscy's and David and Kathy

Dr. Katzenstein and visitors with staff as Dr. Munodawafa presents

 Singing and dancing at Mashoko church conference

Carolyn Mereki in front of dining hall at Mashoko


Major Mereki preaching at Mashoko Conference


Kathy, Patience, Carolyn and Major Mereki at Mashoko church conference


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Busy week with visitors

We had an incredibly busy week with a new group of University of Washington Global Health students joining us on Sunday the 6th and staying through yesterday morning (11th).  There were 7 students and 2 teachers and a driver and my 2 UK students.  So we were cooking for 13 of us each meal.

They experienced shadowing doctors and nurses, helping in OPD clinic and Antenatal Clinic, helping in the Laboratory and watching 3 C/Sections.  Our UK students were happy to get to assist in the C/Sections.  They also went out for a vaccination clinic and weighed kids, measured kids and gave Vitamin A and Polio drops.  They got a good taste of bush life and global health in a rural setting and they all seemed to enjoy it.

On Thursday we started a Youth Conference for our Province that has seen over 500 kids gathering to sing and dance and have lessons, Bible competitions and hear sermons.  We joined them for church this morning and they were all very enthusiastic in their singing and dancing!  They continue through Monday morning.

Peter and Jeyam our medical students from Norwich, UK left early this morning to travel on to Victoria Falls for a few days and then Cape Town.  They enjoyed their 3 weeks here and learned a lot from our doctors and nurses.  We wish them well in their future careers and their last year of medical school that starts in September.

Monday and Tuesday are holidays here and so we are on half day schedule if all goes well.  Gives us time to catch up on needed paper work.  Also having more visitors coming--6 for lunch Monday then 5 for dinner and the next day 7 more joining us through Thursday.  Club Chid keeps busy!

Major was granted his US visa this past week and so we are on our way to the US on 3 September.  We fly via Hong Kong to San Francisco and hope to have 2 days with friends in Hong Kong.

We get in to the US on the 6th and on the 8th we fly to Portland, OR to spend the weekend with Santa Clara church in Eugene, OR.  We hope to catch up with several friends there.  Then on the 11th we fly on to Seattle to be there until the 30th visiting companies and friends we work with and also a quick trip to see Victoria, BC for 4 days.  

Our fundraiser sponsored by Friends of Chidamoyo is on Saturday the 16th.  We hope to see many of you there.  Please check out our FB page for Friends of Chidamoyo to book your tickets--even if you can't come.  We hope to raise a lot of funds to help the hospital that night.  It is always a fun night with many friends coming and lots of exciting things to bid on for the raffle.

We have seats for a San Francisco Giants game on the 1st of October and then we will be in Santa Rosa area until we leave on the 24th.  From October 11-14 I will be joining 6 other of my college buddies to celebrate our 40th reunion our of our College/Nursing School graduation!  We will be together at someones cabin on Lake Tahoe.

Lots of people and things to do!  We have to have time to shop too!  We will let you know when we get to the US our phone number.  Major is already thinking about all the food and Root Beer he can drink! Ha!



UW students observing in Theater (OR)


Annette, one of the students teachers giving devotions on Friday

 Jeyam assisting for a C/S

Peter and UW students observing the C/Section


Students helping with paperwork

Jeyam making his farewell speech on Friday morning

UW Group 2 of Global Health elective

 Youth groups singing specials for church


Major's "before" picture before he goes to USA and all that food!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Lots of mouths to feed!

Two medical students, Henry and Jeyam from Norwich, UK arrived on 22 July to be with us for 3 weeks of their elective studies.  They have completed 4 of 5 years and have been kept busy following our doctors in outpatients and inpatients and theater as well as drawing bloods for our ART patients.

During the week we continued to unpack boxes from the container that arrived recently.  We found several boxes of "Ebola outfits" that hospitals bought a couple of years ago during the scare in the US and now dumped unused.  We had Carolyn Mereki who was helping me to unpack put the whole suit on!  Scared a lot of people around the hospital.  We are using the suits for our men when they paint!

Last Saturday we had our younger kids for ART support group and their medicine supply as well as blood draws for viral loads.  We had 52 children from 5-12 years of age.

We also had Dr. Katzenstein from Stanford who is working with us in our kids on ART research and group, Dr. Ben Pensky from Stanford and Megan's faculty member for her research.  They also brought a Molecular Biologist from University of Dublin who is developing a viral load test to be run on one of our machines that does CD4s now.  Also a  Partners in Health doctor working in Rwanda and the person who runs the Lab where we are doing our research blood draws through from Harare, Junior.  They were here for lunch and most of the day.


On Sunday the 30th Henry celebrated his 22nd birthday with us and had the privilege of wearing our Chidamoyo Happy Birthday hat.  Later that day a group of 6 students, 1 teacher, 1 Zichire worker and 2 drivers showed up to spend the week with us.  They are working through an AIDS organization Zichire on a Global Health elective from University of Washington School of Nursing and Global Health.  They spent the week with us going out to well baby and ART clinics, helping with some month end reports and shadowing the doctors and nurses.  Some got to see a C/Section.  They left this morning after breakfast to trade with another group of 7 students who will be with us for this week.  We had Riley, Lyndseyy, Robby, May, Madeline and Emily as well as their teacher Jillyan and Annett from Zichire and driver Takunda.  We had a good time and they seemed to enjoy the work and the food!

Jeyam and Henry with Kathy


Jeyam and Henry  drawing blood from our ART kids



 ART kids getting their blood drawn

One of our ART kids who came to get her medicine and was happy!

Team from Stanford that visited



 Carolyn Mereki in the Ebola suit




Some of the students from UW and Jeyam and Henry



UW students and helpers