Stefan Zimmerli new Medical Coordinator of Newlands Clinic

Stefan Zimmerli, Attending Physician at the University Clinic for Infectious Diseases at Inselspital, is to take over as Medical Coordinator of Newlands Clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe, as part of a cooperation with Inselspital Berne. He will be providing specialist support to the medical team with immediate effect, and ensuring ongoing education and training. Ruedi Lüthy will be reducing his workload from January 2017 and will ultimately step down as Medical Director.

Medical Coordinator Stefan Zimmerli with Senior Physician Cloephas Chimbetete and a young Newlands Clinic patient.

Following on from the appointment of Matthias Widmaier as Country Director in December 2014, the Ruedi Lüthy Foundation is now dealing with securing the medical leadership of Newlands Clinic. The University Clinic for Infectious Diseases at Inselspital, Berne, will be providing support as its partner in this regard. As part of this cooperation, Stefan Zimmerli will be spending around three months per year on site in Zimbabwe. As the Medical Coordinator, he will be responsible for the reviewing and development of the treatment model on an ongoing basis in line with the latest scientific findings. He will be consulted in the case of difficult medical problems, and his duties will also include providing training to the medical staff and giving courses in HIV management to external healthcare workers in the clinic’s own training centre.

Ruedi Lüthy: “I am delighted that we have been able to secure the services of Stefan Zimmerli as our Medical Coordinator. He has a wealth of knowledge in the field of HIV/Aids, and many years’ experience in the treatment of HIV patients. We have known each other since the 1990s when we worked together at University Hospital Zur-ich, and we share the firm belief that HIV/Aids patients need comprehensive care and support if their treatment is to be successful. Our patients live in the poorest of circumstances, and we want to give them back some prospects for the future.”

Stefan Zimmerli: “Newlands Clinic is a superbly organised outpatient facility. It is a privilege for me to be able to work regularly in Harare. The treatment of HIV will develop further in southern Africa in the coming years, and I am looking forward to contributing to this. Unlike in Harare, at Inselspital we seldom see HIV patients in an advanced stage of the disease. At Newlands Clinic, we can achieve a great deal with relatively simple means, and make a lasting difference in the lives of patients from the poorest backgrounds.”

Experienced local staff

Newlands Clinic has its own experienced staff of local doctors and nurses, which can now handle the everyday running of the clinic thanks to the continual training provided by Ruedi Lüthy over the years. One of the team is Senior Physician Cleophas Chimbetete, who is currently working on his Ph. D. in life sciences at the University of Berne. Matthias Widmaier will remain in charge of the overall running of Newlands Clinic. He is based on site all year round, and is responsible for the administrative management of the clinic and its training centre. Sabine Lüthy, Ruedi Lüthy’s daughter, has been Chief Executive of the Ruedi Lüthy Foundation in Switzerland since 2012.

Video interviews with Stefan Zimmerli (in German):