Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Day 291

I have been trying to get on-line for the past few days but it is exceedingly difficult for some reason. This week we have a visit from our big boss in Barcelona and I really like her! She is pushing us to not get caught in the day to day but to realize or rather remember why we are here. To allow patients access to drugs...access to life. I hope that after her visit the momentum continues..


17 – Sept- 2006

It is so strange to travel just a few tours away and feel like you are living in a completely different world. Having just got back from holiday in the middle east I knew that life in Africa was different, but I did not expect to have the same feeling traveling to Botswana. The shops were full of products that were not available in Zim and the products that were the same were at a drastically different price. The lack of financial management and the over 1200% inflation is killing this country.
One of the doctors that I was speaking with had just moved to Botswana and when I asked her why she left Zim she told me that she could not even afford the school fees for her two children anymore. One of the doctors I traveled down with told me he was happy at times to see the inflation rise because it was the only real thing that the president could not justify. An inflation like this means lack of governmental management. The funny part of this conversation came when he told me he hoped Mugabe did not have the same genes as his mother since she lived until she was 104. (he is presently 84 and I can not imagine what could happen if his rein is for another 20 years)

As a whole the conference was great. It is so interesting to see and hear what advances are happening with regards to HIV management but I felt like some of the guest speakers did not really have a clear picture of the day to day workings in TRUE resource limited settings. Although it was nice to hear that we should pressure Western countries to increase assistance and pharma companies for cheaper ARVs the reality is that what is that there is a chasm between the ideal treatment for the patients and what we are able to provide.

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