We had a full weekend despite it being the mid-semester break for students. Friday, a visiting team from Stanford University Medical School gave an outstanding presentation at Mutare Provincial Hospital Grand Rounds on rapid diagnostic testing for malaria and HIV at the initial point of contact (POC). Rapid POC testing is cutting edge stuff, and this group did some of its pilot testing right here in this area over the past year. The results were great, so the next step is to scale up to high volume testing if funding can be obtained. The Stanford team also led a stimulating workshop at AU on Friday. Friday evening’s entertainment was a fund-raising dinner-dance in Mutare for the School for the Deaf in Mutare. The dinner was a resounding success with over 350 attendees!
Yesterday I went to Nyanga with Arnold Mukwididza, Thomas Chiripashi and Lloyd Chaucurah. Nyanga is a small town nestled high in the Nyganga Mountains. Normally its about an hour and a half drive to get up there, but it wound up taking us an extra hour because of a flat tire on the way, the result of hitting a pothole in the roadway. Fortunately Arnold was able to put the spare tire on without a problem. Then we were slowed down by herd of cows grazing and milling along the highway, but we navigated through them safely. We arrived at the Village Inn in Nyanga about 9:30 AM for a planned breakfast meeting with a group of farmers who were coming to meet us from a similar distance to the West of Nyanga. Unfortunately, they had even worse delays than we did, involving a combi-bus breakdown and a hike of several kilometers. It was 3:30 by the time they arrived, so our breakfast meeting turned into a late lunch meeting. Even so, it was a productive meeting, and when we left a bit after 4:30 PM, everybody concluded that it had been a worthwhile day despite the obstacles!