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A glimpse of a better future for Zimbabwe

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c1447 (Published 12 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1447
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    At the top of Douglas Gwatidzo’s wish list for Zimbabwe is a return of all those health professionals who have left the country in the past decade. Dr Gwatidzo is chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights. His colleague, Rutendo Bonde, hopes for accountability in the health service, professional engagement, and governance backed by a legal system with teeth.

    This might feel like pie in the sky for some, but conditions in Zimbabwe have changed in the past 12 months, and there is a real sense of optimism. “We are living on hope,” Dr Gwatidzo told the BMJ.

    The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, which Dr Gwatidzo helped to establish in 2002, was originally set up to monitor the use of organised violence and torture in the country but has since broadened its remit. In the past five years it has also played a part in ensuring that the medical curriculum includes human rights and related matters and promotes activities in the areas of health of prisoners, child and maternal health, and HIV/AIDS. Dr Bonde, originally an anaesthetist, runs …

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