Our history


Our story begins back in 2003, when the Swiss HIV specialist Prof. Ruedi Lüthy decided to establish a treatment program for HIV and Aids patients in southern Africa. Newlands Clinic in Harare now has more than 7,000 registered patients.

2016: A new name for the foundation

On 1 July, our parent organisation Swiss Aids Care International is renamed as the Ruedi Lüthy Foundation, underscoring its commitment to continuing its work in keeping with our founder Ruedi Lüthy's vision and ideals over the long term.

2015: Our centre for women           

A significant legacy makes it possible to open a Women's Health Centre, providing preventative care and treatment of cervical cancer as well as advice on issues such as family planning and relationships.

2014: Matthias Widmaier becomes Country Director

The next step in the succession planning: Prof. Ruedi Lüthy hands over the running of Newlands Clinic to Matthias Widmaier, and devotes his efforts increasingly to patients and training as Medical Director.

2013: A model clinic for HIV

Newlands Clinic serves as a model for others to follow in Zimbabwe: the globally active NPO Population Services International opens three clinics using our model. Newlands Clinic trains the staff and supports PSI with the overall concept, implementation and quality assurance.

2011: Our own training centre

Thanks to the Bernhart Matter Foundation, a nearby plot of land and a building are acquired for a training centre, which is officially opened in April to provide ongoing training to local healthcare workers.

2009: Our clinic continues to grow

Newlands Clinic treats over 2,000 patients, more than 800 of them children. Meanwhile, the first training course for nurses and doctors is held. This film gives an insight into the day-to-day life at the clinic at that time.

2008: Move to Newlands Clinic

Newlands Clinic is completed in May, and the move can begin. The new clinic has more treatment rooms, and more patients can be admitted.

2007: Searching for a new clinic

The Connaught Clinic is bursting at the seams, and Prof. Ruedi Lüthy looks for new premises with more capacity. In August, construction starts on what is now Newlands Clinic.

2006: One thousand patients

The first milestone is reached: Connaught Clinic has more than 1,000 registered patients receiving treatment in March, and the team has just under 20 staff. The capacity limit has therefore been reached.

November 2004: Helping the youngest

Given the large numbers of children requiring HIV treatment, Ruedi Lüthy and his team get training from Prof. Christoph Rudin of University Children’s Hospital, Basel, in paediatric care.

January 2004: The clinic is ready

The former Connaught Clinic in Harare is ready to move into in January. Following the training of staff, the first patients are already receiving treatment by March.

2003: How it all began

The foundation Swiss Aids Care International (now the Ruedi Lüthy Foundation) is established by Prof. Ruedi Lüthy in February. From August, he starts setting up the project in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare, looking for a suitable building and recruiting the first nurses and laboratory staff.