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Posted by on November 10, 2011

Today we had our first follow-up appointment with household contacts of an index patient. We went to a clinic in Epworth, which is a separate city, just outside of Harare. Harare has expanded all the way to Epworth so if it were not for the “come again soon” sign, you would not know you had left Harare.

Doctors without Borders has a major clinic in Epworth and we were shown around a bit and talked to the doctor in charge about the study. Then we met with the index patient and were introduced to his household (wife, son, brother and cousin). They all had symptoms of TB so we enrolled all of them (except for the son who was only 4 years old and too young to cough up sputum) into the study. That took the entire morning because Salome had to talk to everyone individually to get informed consent and then we had to wait an hour between sputum samples.

We didn’t have enough lab sheets to fill out so we had to go to the office to print some more before dropping off the samples at the lab. It was a lot of running around.

I organized all of the files and paperwork while Salome went to the lab then I prepared for tomorrow while Salome created some new log sheets. It was kind of nice to be in the office for a few hours where we could sit (and where there’s a bathroom) and where I’m not stared at constantly by small children.

We had a Skype call with John in the evening (early morning in California) so it was another late night at the office. Unfortunately the bathrooms are locked when the receptionist leaves so you have to plan accordingly.

Not wanting to repeat another dark walk home, I took a cab back tonight only to return to a house without power again. Power was restored around 9 pm so I didn’t have to spend the entire night in the dark.

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