We have recently moved our offices from Nicoz Diamond Building, in the CBD to 10 Seagrave road, Avondale, that is, along second street extension, near the university of Zimbabwe. The BRTI occupies the whole of this floor, comprising two wings and accessed by both lifts and stairs. Access to offices is via an electronic system to monitor entry. The North Wing includes 16 offices and a training room with adjacent dining room and library. Offices are mostly 5 x 3 m., though some are larger. All offices have desks and chairs, filing cabinets and bookcases. The offices are connected to telephones and a wireless internet system is connected to fibre-optic cable for internet and email connectivity. The secretarial office has a high capacity copier, and fax, scanning and printing are available. All offices have telephones, with computerized monitoring of calls for individual project billing. The computers in the finance section are linked so that files can be transferred quickly between clerks and supervisors. Payments are monitored through Pastel software.
The BRTI Administration includes secretarial staff (2), finance clerks (4), payroll officer (1) and Finance Manager (1). An IT Manager is responsible for maintain computer equipment, with assistance for website maintenance (1) and general IT assistance (1). The Human Resources Manager (1) prepares staff contracts and maintains staff records. There are 2 permanent cleaning staff. The south wing contains 14 offices, used mainly by individual projects. These offices are also equipped with telephones and wireless internet access.
The BRTI training room has seats for up to 25 trainees, with desks and tables. Powerpoint and overhead projectors are available, and the BRTI is acquiring a “smartboard” to improve the quality of presentations. A set of 20 laptops are available for use by participants in training courses as required. During 2010 the room will have air conditioning for use in the summer. A small library adjacent to the training room has desktop computers with internet access for use by students.
The main BRTI laboratories are located within the National Institute for Health Research, about 2 km from the offices. The microbiology laboratory is 6 x 4 m, and is equipped with incubators (RT, 37C and CO2), microscopes (light, UV and inverted), and refrigerators and freezers (-20C and -80C). There are separate rooms for wash-up and media preparation. The staff are supervised by the Laboratory Manager (1), and include Laboratory Technologists (2) and a Quality Management Officer (1) – all are registered with Health Professions Council. There is a separate data and records office. The serology laboratory, also at NIHR, has facilities for rapid diagnostics (mostly for HIV) and automated enzyme immunoassays. The laboratory has storage at -20C and -80C. Three laboratory staff are employed in this laboratory. The immunology laboratory has facilities for assays of cellular immunity, including centrifuges, CO2 incubators and microscopes. The TB laboratory is located at the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory, adjacent to Harare Hospital. This newly upgraded Class III laboratory has facilities for TB detection by microscopy (light and UV), culture on solid media and sensitivity testing of TB isolates. At present this is the only laboratory in Zimbabwe with capacity for TB culture. There are 4 technologists who work in this laboratory. During 2010 we have plans to introduce liquid cultures, MODS assays for sensitivity testing and Hane molecular testing of samples for Mtb.
The BRTI has vehicles including cars, pick-up trucks and a small bus for the transport of students. A small apartment provides accommodation for visiting scientists.