Act against Aids

Great engagement in times of turmoil

Prof. Ruedi Lüthy reflects on last year's ups and downs. The corona pandemic had a huge impact on our work at Newlands Clinic. But thanks to our teams' engagement, we were able to secure HIV treatment for our patients the whole year.

In spring and autumn of last year, I visited Newlands Clinic in Harare. What particularly impressed me was the good atmosphere in the team and people’s sense of purpose and determination when going about their work. But it’s more than just that: if necessary, our team will always go the extra mile for our patients. The effort pays off. We have lost hardly any patients and never have so many had a suppressed viral load (more starting on p. 4). Even so, there have also been difficult moments. For example, we had numerous patients with advanced cancer seeking help from Newlands Clinic. Unfortunately, we’re often the last port of call for these people, as there are hardly any therapy options in the public health system. The fate and suffering of these patients are of great concern to me — which is why I’m even more pleased about every successful treatment. The coronavirus pandemic also cast a shadow. Many patients and staff got infected with the highly contagious Omicron variant at the end of the year which meant that we were only barely able to maintain operation until the Christmas holidays. Fortunately, most of these people only suffered a mild case of the disease, and we were able to start the new year with good heart. I’d like to express my warm thanks to the whole team for their untiring effort and dedication. Together we’re able to offer more than 7,000 patients effective HIV therapy and comprehensive care. When I walk through the corridors of the clinic, I encounter people who are full of hope and in good spirits. For this, I’m truly grateful.