Novel Education Clinical Trainees and Researchers (NECTAR) Program in Zimbabwe

The Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) is a National Institute of Health (NIH) program to transform medical education in 11 sub-Saharan African countries. Stanford University's Center for Innovation in Global Health has partnered with the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS) and the University of Colorado, Denver in receiving a $10 million grant to establish the Novel Education Clinical Trainees and Researchers (NECTAR) Program in Zimbabwe. In addition, UZCHS received two pilot grant awards, of which $2.5 million is dedicated to Cardiology and another $2.5 million is dedicated to Mental Health.

Begun in 2010, this five-year partnership works to improve medical education and to strengthen medical research and clinical training. The project is led by Principal Investigator James Hakim, MD at UZCHS as well as Co-PIs, Michele Barry, MD, FACP, Senior Associate Dean of Global Health at Stanford University, and Tom Campbell, MD at the University of Colorado, Denver.

Meeting the healthcare training needs in Zimbabwe has been difficult due to the decreasing number of faculty members. NECTAR’s strategy aims that improvements in the approach to medical education at the medical student and post graduate levels, coupled with programs to improve faculty training and support and investments in novel educational models and technologies, will lead to improved capacity at UZCHS to meet the healthcare training and research capacity needs across Zimbabwe.

NECTAR goals

  • Enhancing existing medical curriculum in PEPFAR areas;
  • Providing mentorship to students to ensure that they become exemplary academic medical practitioners in the future;
  • Fostering an academic environment that enhances faculty as medical educators, investigators, and mentors;
  • Monitoring the impact of NECTAR on medical education, research, and practice in PEPFAR priority areas.

Zimbabwe Visiting Professors Program

Stanford Faculty can participate in the Visiting Professors program to teach for a minimum of 2 weeks.  To apply, please see qualifications and requirements below.

Minimum Qualifications/Expectations

  1. Must possess a highly specific skill set that has been identified as a need by Zimbabwe colleagues;
  2. Must be able to be on site for a minimum of 2 weeks, preferably 4-6 weeks;
  3. Must have both clinical and basic science background and the ability to teach in both areas;
  4. Must have a potential interest to go back to Zimbabwe over the 5 years;
  5. Must be able to be a continuing mentor/colleague via web;
  6. Upon return, faculty must submit an evaluation commenting on experience and weaknesses and strengths of program.

If you have been selected to participate in the Visiting Professors program, please review below information carefully.

Prior to Travel, faculty will need to prepare the following: More 

  • *Letter of Good Standing from the California Medical Board - $10 (click here for example) Please note that the letter of Good Standing should be sent directly to you, not to the Zimbabwe Medical School. This is noted in the sample letter.
  • *Copy of CV
  • *2 Copies of Passport Photos (each photo must be notarized on the back)
  • *Signed Short Term Philanthropic Policy Form (this is required if you plan to lecture, do demonstrations, procedures or surgeries.) -
  • Completed Laptop Export Form (this is a Stanford requirement prior to taking your laptop abroad).

*You should obtain the above at least six weeks prior to travel. The letter of Good Standing, copies of passport photos, copy of CV and signed 'Short-term Philanthropic Policy' form should be sent at least four weeks prior to arrival to the following address by FEDEX.

Tendayi Chisvo
NECTAR Programme
C-Floor, Ward C10
Department of Medicine
Parirenyatwa Hospital Complex
University of Zimbabwe - College of Health Sciences Harare Zimbabwe
Tel: 00263-773-524493 or 00263-772 629131

Medical Evaluation (Immunizations, Meds and Vaccines)
Schedule your mandatory Travel Clinic appointment (at least 3 weeks prior to departure). To do this, follow these directions:

Call the Travel Clinic at 650.736.5700 to make an appointment. You should let the scheduler know that you are traveling as part of the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health. Once your appointment has been made, you will need to complete the 2-Page Pre-Travel Risk Assessment on the Travel Medicine Clinic Website and fax this in at least one-week prior to appointment. Please note these appointments will most likely take place on Thursday mornings (8 AM–11 AM).

Travel and Country Specific Information 

For more information about Zimbabwe, please visit the Travel State Website for more information on Zimbabwe’s travel guidelines, regulations and general country-specific information. The CDCalso offers information about needed vaccinations and health information regarding Zimbabwe.

Please contact Ms. Eileen Young, Casto’s travel agent who will be able to book your travel to Zimbabwe. Please note that because this is an NIH grant, all travel MUST be on a US Carrier. The faculty member will not have to pay for the airfare upfront; the travel agent will take care of the financial aspects of the airfare.  Ms. Young can be reached at 408.553.4708 or 888.852.6499. Ms. Young can also be reached by email.

Visa/Passport Requirements for US Citizens

  • US $30 single-entry
  • US $45 double-entry
  • US $55 multiple entry
  • A valid passport, itinerary, exit ticket, and cash payment are required upon entry to Zimbabwe

If you are not a US, Canadian or British passport holder, it is highly advisable to get your VISA prior to departure. You should apply for a Tourist Visa (unless you will be going to work in Zimbabwe for more than six weeks). To do this, contact the Embassy of Zimbabwe at least 4 weeks prior to departure. It is recommended that all visiting professors obtain their VISA prior to departure to save time upon arrival to Zimbabwe.

Per diem costs will need to be paid upfront by the faculty and will be reimbursed upon arrival. Per diem for meals is $50/day and for hotel is $50/day. Please send all your receipts to Ryan Oden for reimbursement. The address these should be sent to is: 1265 Welch Rd, x2C16, Stanford, CA 94305. Mail Code (if mailed internally) is 5475. *Please keep your boarding passes upon return as reimbursements for other aspects of your trip cannot be handled without this piece of documentation.

We have identified two different housing options for visitors.

  • Avondale B&B: This is available for residents and fellows. (residents and fellows are able to stay in the Milton Park B&B only if there is no availabilty at the Avondale B&B)
  • Milton Park B&B: This is available for faculty. (faculty are welcome to stay at the Avondale B&B if there is no availability at the Milton Park B&B

As soon as you are confirmed to travel to Zimbabwe, please contact the landlord of the B&B and book your room.

Some General Information and Helpful Tips

  1. Goods and services in Zimbabwe are purchased with USD. You should carry cash in $1 and $5 bills as change for larger $ bills are rare;
  2. If you are taking your laptop to Zimbabwe, you should make sure it will accept 220V. You can buy an adapter from the airport that will convert the 110V plug to a 220V plug;
  3. Access to internet is extremely spotty in Zimbabwe. The solution to this issue is the use of a dongle which can be purchased for about $50 and tickets to use the internet cost about $9 for half a day. Both the dongle and tickets can be purchased at the Avendale Shopping Center near to the University;
  4. It will take about two days to get to Zimbabwe from the U.S. between air travel time and layover time. This should be kept in mind while arranging travel.

For questions, regarding this program, please contact the CIGH Communications Officer, Rachel Leslie.


Visiting Professors Program

The Visiting Professors Program works to meet the NECTAR goals. You may apply to the Visiting Professors Program as a Stanford Faculty. Residents may consider a rotation through an Independent Rotation Application or as a Johnson & Johnson Scholar.

Traveling to Zimbabwe?

Any student, resident, and faculty traveling to the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences should review the Zimbabwe Orientation Guide, which will guide you through pre-departure planning, documentation requirements, and answer your travel-related questions.