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  • Nicole Jimenez

Day 1

Updated: Sep 18, 2018


Cast of Characters:

-Ben, Brian, Elisa, Ellee, Nicole, Sam—Us! UW DPT Students

-Kendra, Lisa, Sara—PT’s from the Tacoma area, our clinical instructors, experienced clinicians, particularly in the pediatric realm. Kendra and Sara have both been to Chidamoyo before.

-Kathy McCarty—Our host, a nurse practitioner, and the hospital “Sister-In-Charge.” Although an American, has lived here at Chidamoyo for the last 38 years.

-Major—Hospital Administrator. Born and raised a short distance from Chidamoyo.

-Brighton “Mr. Kamuhka” Kamuhka—Chidamoyo’s only rehabilitation practitioner. He does a little bit of everything—physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, making casts, etc. He is involved in all of our patient interactions detailed below.

-Dr. Mudzingwa and Dr. Moya—The resident doctors here at Chidamoyo, both of whom have been here for under a year.


After arriving at Chidamoyo past midnight early this morning, we quickly unpacked in Kathy’s beautiful thatch roofed guest house as we were eager to get to bed. A shriek echoed through the rooms of the house as Ellee jumped back revealing a monstrous and twitching spider which was quickly vanquished by Ben. Getting to bed was a little unnerving after this encounter, but everyone fell into a deep and much-needed sleep afterwards.


Feeling well-rested this morning, we headed to the hospital after breakfast and had tea with Kathy and the doctor staff. At this point, a busy day for Mr. Kamukha had unfolded in the physical therapy area and we were thrown into it all. Some memorable cases we saw today included a young fisherman with a below the knee amputation due to a crocodile bite, a 7-week-old baby requiring bilateral lower extremity casting due to knee dysplasia, and an inpatient with HIV-induced CVA that needed palliative positioning family education.


We were all very excited with the variety of patients seen on our first day at Chidamoyo! To end the day, we took a walk around the grounds, saw a beautiful African sunset and had a great dinner. Kathy told us all about Chidamoyo’s amazing efforts to prevent and treat HIV and the successes they have had thus far. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s adventures!


Some fun facts we learned today:

1. “Manguanani” = good morning in Shona**

2. “Maskati” = good afternoon in Shona**

3. “Maneuru” = good evening in Shona**

4. The area that CCH serves has an HIV prevalence of 3.5%, while the country of Zimbabwe has a prevalence of 18%

5. CCH started providing ART to patients in 2003, while the Zimbabwe government only started providing ART to patients in public clinic in 2009

6. Currently, CCH provides ART to 4500+ patients in the region, which is completely at no cost to the patients (covered by government, but mostly by donors)

7. There is no public insurance in Zimbabwe and very few people have private insurances. Private insurance costs about $15-20/month per person.

8. People with seizures tend to not want to take medications or seek medical attention for it because they believe the cause of it is related to witchery. Due to this, many patients with seizures are seen when they come into the hospital for burn wounds. The reason they are prone to burn wounds is because the fires will trigger their seizures and then they tend to fall into the fire.


**English is the official language of Zimbabwe and is taught in schools, but Shona is one of the main languages spoken in this area of Zimbabwe. Also, we are unsure of the spelling of these words…

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