IN MEMORIAM: Dr. James G. Hakim

Sadly, Dr. Hakim, a founding member of the ZATA Project and an invaluable member of its Advisory Board, passed away on January 26, 2021 from complications of COVID-19. James’ numerous academic and clinical achievements continue to be lauded by his many friends and colleagues in Zimbabwe and around the world. CROI recently wrote about James’ impressive contributions to the fight against HIV in Zimbabwe:  IN MEMORIAM: Dr James G. Hakim (croiconference.org). He was also a highly respected leader of the international research efforts of the NIH AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) and HIV Prevention Trials (HPTN) Networks, which hosted a recent memorial event honoring his many scientific, educational, and mentoring contributions to the global fight against HIV. Lastly, he was a leader in the Medical Education Partnership (MEPI) and Health Education Partnership (HEPI) Initiatives, programs sponsored by the U.S. NIH Fogarty Center and PEPFAR that established numerous educational and mentorship initiatives in Zimbabwe and other Sub-Saharan African countries to foster educational and research training for young healthcare professionals in their home countries. The latter programs also led to the establishment of AfreHealth, an organization led by African medical professionals to extend the programs and projects begun by the MEPI and HEPI. Dr. Hakim’s many contributions were also highlighted in an obituary published in the Lancet (www.thelancet.com; February 27, 2021, Vol. 397).

 

 

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The James G. Hakim Prize: The ZATA Project Board has identified funds to establish a Prize in Dr. Hakim’s memory.  The funds will be used as matching donations for a multi-year grant for young students and faculty at UZ who excel in their research, clinical, or teaching contributions and can demonstrate that they are improving the lives of Zimbabweans infected with HIV or other serious infectious diseases, such as COVID-19 

 

We will all miss James, and hope that this prize will allow his memory to live on through young, accomplished UZ students and faculty.

Funding for New Medical Equipment, Research Projects and a Microloan

In 2018 and 2019, ZATA bought Thoracic Ultrasound Equipment, and the CU Department Medicine supported the training of UZ faculty and staff

 

In the Fall of 2018, ZATA purchased thoracic ultrasound equipment for the Department of Medicine at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ). We collaborated with Professor Ali Musani, Vice Chair, Global Health, Department of Medicine at the University of Colorado (CU) School of Medicine on the purchase and Dr. Musani trained the faculty and staff at UZ on the equipment February 26 and 27, 2019. The ZATA Board is very appreciative of the training and travel support provided by the CU Department of Medicine CoZIE (Colorado Zimbabwe Exchange) Program.

In 2014, the ZATA Project funded two AIDS-related research projects at the University of Zimbabwe.

 

The details of the two projects are described below.

 

Stigma and Skin Disease among HIV-positive Adolescents in Zimbabwe

Tariro Makadzange, MD, DPhil and Khameer Kidia, MPhil

This study examined the psychosocial impact of chronic skin disease on adolescents living with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe. The data from this study has been used to guide the implementation of programs to support adolescents living with HIV at Parirenyatwa Hospital Family CareCentre. Dr. Makadzange completed this study and the UZ faculty and ZATA Board are very pleased.

Spirometric changes in AIDS-Kaposi sarcoma patients with pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma being followed at Parirenyatwa KS clinic

Felix Donald Manyeruke

AIDS-associated Kaposi sarcoma has been the most common AIDS-related cancer in Zimbabwe and has been associated with poorer health outcomes and decrease quality of life along with higher mortality. The study examined whether current treatment for pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma (KS) was associated with any improvement in pulmonary function and functional status. In July 2015, Felix completed the project! We are so proud of Felix and happy that ZATA could participate in this important research.

The Broccoli and Poultry Microloan Project 

 

The Sanning Foundation in Zimbabwe received microloan funds to assist 20 HIV women and men to establish a broccoli farm. The foundation was formed with the purpose of providing social and financial solutions for poor women in rural areas. In October 2014, the first broccoli seeds were planted and the project was actually profitable in 2015. Therefore ZATA agreed with the Sanning Foundation that the ZATA microloan should be expanded into poultry farming. Here are photos of the brocolli and poultry farmers. The ZATA Board looks forward to future success stories from the Sanning Foundation once the drought conditions and currency issues abate in Zimbabwe. Many thanks to Moreblessing Signauke, head of the Sanning Foundation who started these initiatives, and the wonderful participants.

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