Waters Teams With University of Buffalo to Extend Quality Medical Care in Zimbabwe

August 9, 2007

The six weeks that graduate student Tinashe Mudzviti spends at the University at Buffalo this summer could help more than 100,000 people with HIV receive life-saving treatments back in his home country of Zimbabwe.

The six weeks that graduate student Tinashe Mudzviti spends at the University at Buffalo this summer could help more than 100,000 people with HIV receive life-saving treatments back in his home country of Zimbabwe.

Mudzviti, a first-year master's student at the University of Zimbabwe, is the first UZ graduate student to visit UB as part of a collaborative program between the two universities to improve the quality and distribution of treatments for HIV patients in developing nations.

Now in its sixth year, the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences clinical and translational research program was founded by Chiedza Maponga, a 1988 UB graduate and the first clinical pharmacist in his native Zimbabwe, and his UB mentor, Gene D. Morse, associate dean for clinical and translational research.

The UB/UZ program has been an important component in recent years in turning the destructive tide of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe, which is down to 18 percent from 25 percent a few years ago, according to Maponga.

"Of all the southern African countries, Zimbabwe is the only one that is showing a downward trend," he said. The Zimbabwean government has launched a campaign to distribute free antiretroviral drugs to 120,000 people with HIV by the end of 2007. However, Maponga said there are more than 600,000 are in need of these life-saving medicines in his home country.