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Penn Medicine Program in Botswana

The Department of Medicine has established a full-time medical presence in Botswana, Africa, including a Penn inpatient service (or "firm") at the 550+ bed Princess Marina Hospital, the country's main medical center located in the capital city of Gaborone.

The Republic of Botswana is situated in Southern Africa. It is a democratically ruled, progressive nation with a growing economy and a stable political environment. Nevertheless, it faces enormous medical and public health challenges; it has the highest prevalence of HIV infection in the world, with close to 40% of all adults infected. Our department's involvement in Botswana, currently under the direction of Dr. Stephen Gluckman, was initiated in 2001 by the Infectious Disease Division under the leadership of Dr. Harvey Friedman, Division Chief.

The Department of Medicine presently has two full-time faculty members residing in Gaborone. Dr. Daniel Baxter is supported by the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership (ACHAP), a consortium of the Merck and Gates Foundations. Dr. Baxter's activities are outpatient-based: he provides invaluable expertise and educational contributions for HIV providers in Botswana. Dr. Jason Kessler, who completed his Internal Medicine residency training at Penn in 2003, initiated a full-time Penn inpatient service at the Princess Marina Hospital in January 2004. Other Department of Medicine faculty members who have spent periods of time working in the Botswana program include Drs. Harvey Friedman, Stephen Gluckman, Rob Roy MacGregor, Greg Bisson, and Ron Collman. Funding of the Penn Firm has been through the Department of Medicine and the School of Medicine. Also, we expect to receive support from a grant from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the CDC and NIH.

The Penn inpatient service at the Princess Marina Hospital is currently staffed by Dr. Kessler as the full-time Attending Physician, one or two Penn Internal Medicine Residents at a time rotating for 4-6 week elective periods on a continuous basis, and several Penn medical students. We hope to have subspecialty Fellows as well as faculty and trainees from other Penn departments and schools join the program in the future. The Department of Medicine of the Princess Marina Hospital averages over 100 admissions per week; many admitting diagnoses are related to HIV infection, but our trainees are also exposed to experience with a rich variety of unrelated diseases, some of which are rarely encountered in Philadelphia.

Elephant A formal Memorandum of Understanding is expected to be signed during the Summer of 2004 to expand our Department of Medicine and University of Pennsylvania partnership with the Government of Botswana and the Princess Marina Hospital to provide patient care, education and clinical expertise. For further information, go to the ID web site and contact Dr. Harvey Friedman (email: hfriedma@mail.med.upenn.edu ).

For applicants interested in the Global Health Equities Track, go to Global Health website.

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