Welcome to Mthatha

I arrived in Umtata on the evening of 27 January, and my belongings arrived the following day.

This is a photo of Umtata at night, taken from the Garden Court hotel along the N2 highway as it passes through Umtata, where it is known as Nelson Mandela Drive.  A larger picture will load if you click on it.

Umtata at night

Some scenic photos of the area later ... but after doing some of my unpacking, I started work on 1 February.  At first I felt a bit lost, and although the lab is in somewhat of a rectangle with passages going right around, it was a bit confusing in the beginning.  I still have to think about which way the lifts are, and which way the stairs are - they're on opposite ends of the lab.

I am the new pathologist for the diagnostic virology laboratory.  At the moment they do HIV DNA PCRs on blood and dried blood spots, and HIV viral loads.  Serology for HIV, Hepatitides A, B, and C, Rubella, and Cytomegalovirus get done in the Chemical Pathology laboratory, and don't fall under the Virology section, which is dedicated to supporting the antiretroviral rollout in the Eastern Cape.  We have place to expand, and the section will eventually do a lot of other viral diagnostics, and incorporate the serology as well.

These are the people working in the Virology laboratory:

Tobeka Gibson (Toto) is the laboratory manager.  Here you can see her preparing samples for HIV PCRs.


Nandipha Tinzi (Nandi) is sorting specimens that will get viral load testing later.


Nokwanda Busakwe (Skwash) is preparing plasma samples for RNA extraction prior to viral load testing.


Masixole Nkanyuza (Masi) is the youngest; he's preparing the reagents for the detection step of the viral load assay.


More soon.


Posted by  
on February 13, 2007, 12:47 pm
Beautiful photos glad you're online again!

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