March 25, 2023

Cementing relationships.

This week we were based in Zvimba and Harare. I met with the Rasper community board, MOH, UZ, UK foreign and Commonwealth Development office, ZimCan PVO, Medical and Dental council, to start mapping out next steps. The students alternated between Rasper CTT and Rujeko Clinic (Mainly Maternity).

We ran the CTT school wellness clinic again. It was Nurse led with no on site physician this time, it went well around 400 children were seen.

This remains something we could sponsor although the clinic we helped design is now being used as offices. The Playground Alison and Mary built is still in use though!

Sister Maravanyka is looking to retire from Rujeko and asked if we would be interested in her having an “ambassador” role for us in Zim. She has started a Seniors wellness group which by all accounts is growing. In addition, she would be able to continue to do CTT and monitor our other work. I spoke to Mike Mangwende about where this might fit with the PVO and if we go ahead, they would like it to be part of our work next year.

The PVO is putting together their strategic plan with projects and priorities for us to look at and see where we might see synergy. Watch this space.

UZ is enthusiastic for ultrasound training although the MOH did not give us the green light. Edward is meeting with the permanent Secretary next week and will raise this with him. He has suggested that I get a specialist family physician license in Zim which would require working here for 3 months in a designated government facility. He is also suggesting if I go this route to get a role at the University to assist him with the registrars, something both Gurdeep and I could consider.

I gave him the Ultrasound machine that was donated by Ryan, one of the POCUS team. It will be used in setting up a UZ POCUS lab.

I spoke with Dr. Kuretu (Matabeleland) and we identified staff housing and helping finish the work started in the mothers waiting area as a possible priority. ZimCan PVO is setting up a list of projects with costings for us to consider in Binga.

In the meantime, 2 of Susan’s containers have landed. Susan kindly offered for me to pick though and identify supplies to support our work.

ZimCan PVO requested a computer and phone, I’ve left my iPhone 8 and have identified a computer from the container for them. 

Another computer and around 20 boxes of supplies for Binga, they will provide transport.

1 box with hip prostheses and suture material for the Orthopedic surgeon I mentioned earlier.

The Rasper community have identified a few things to work on, like pit toilets for community houses (many of them have nothing) and maintenance on the road from Rasper to the main road. In addition I visited the wells we have dug. One is getting power run to it, the other 2 don’t have pumps but one ZimCan PVO member is donating a solar pump. The last one I chatted to a community member who suggested a bush pump but Erik said a solar setup costs the same. We then discussed security and have landed on the idea that if the community can sort out security, we would look at a solar setup there.

Reflecting on this trip, one thing that stands out to me about some of what we bring to this space, is direct connection to the ground. Either though our work (seeing what is happening on the ground and building those relationships) or even better fostering direct connection between Zimbabwean and Canadian partners.