Better Information for Health in Zambia study pilot launches!

On 10th February 2015, the CIDRZ Better Information for Health in Zambia study – known locally as BetterInfo – initiated study data collection activities in Lusaka, Eastern, Western and Southern provinces to begin the pilot phase of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant award of USD 4.76 million. After receiving all required international and local regulatory approvals and consulting the National, District and Provincial Health officials, Traditional leadership and Neighbourhood Health Committees where the pilot will be conducted, study training activities for the approximately 30 member study team took place at the CIDRZ offices in the capital Lusaka.  Training was led by the three study PIs, Dr Elvin Geng of University of California – San Francisco, Dr Charles Holmes and Dr Izukanji Sikazwe of CIDRZ, and Study Coordinator Sandra Simbeza, Co-investigators and CIDRZ BetterInfo study management.

Some of the members of the Lusaka-based BetterInfo study management team. From Left: Nancy Czaicki – UC Berkeley, Laura Beres,  Monde Bwalya, Paul Somwe, Sandra Simbeza, David Parker, Chanda Mwamba, and Njekwa Mukamba.

Some of the members of the Lusaka-based BetterInfo study management team. From Left: Nancy Czaicki – UC Berkeley, Laura Beres, Monde Bwalya, Paul Somwe, Sandra Simbeza, David Parker, Chanda Mwamba, and Njekwa Mukamba.

The purpose of the ‘BetterInfo’ study is to systematically gain a better understanding of why some patients enrolled in antiretroviral treatment (ART) stay in care, while others are ‘lost’ from care. It is estimated that as many as 25-40% of patients in HIV care and treatment programmes are lost-to-follow-up. The ‘BetterInfo’ study will trace ART patients, learn of their outcomes, and ask questions about why they have that outcome. This information will enable the study team to more accurately estimate the treatment outcomes of patients who are lost from HIV care thereby gaining a better understanding of the percentage of patients who have chosen to disengage from ART care, those who have chosen to re-engage in ART care at a different facility, and those that have passed away.  Understanding this information will allow Zambian health programmes and facilities to better meet the needs of ART patients so that they stay in care. The ‘BetterInfo’ study staff will use best practices when tracing ‘lost’ patients to protect privacy and confidentiality, and if a patient has stopped receiving treatment they will encourage them to resume ART care.

The ‘BetterInfo’ study will be conducted in 30 sites in Western, Southern, Lusaka and Eastern Provinces of Zambia over a 29-month period and will be able to provide more accurate estimates of HIV care patient outcomes at both clinic and provincial levels which will help the Zambian Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health to make informed decisions about HIV care service provision.

CIDRZ Opt-Out Provider Initiated HIV testing and counselling paper referenced in the World Bank World Development Report 2015

A CIDRZ Integration Team paper on Provider-Initiated Testing and Counselling (PITC), originally published in the World Health Bulletin in 2011, was referenced in Chapter 8, Health of the 2015 World Development Report. Read the paper here >>> http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/5/10-084442/en/

Access the World Bank Group 2015 World Development Report: Overview Mind, Society and Behaviour Chapter 8, Health PDF here >>> 2015_WB_WorldDevelopmentReport_Chapter-8

And the full report here >>>

http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/Publications/WDR/WDR%202015/WDR-2015-Full-Report.pdf

CIDRZ HealthCorps Fellowship 2015-16: Call for Applications Closed

CIDRZ HealthCorps Fellowship 2015-16: Call for Applications Now Open

Closing Date: 16 March 2015 

Introducing the CIDRZ HealthCorps Fellowship previously known as HIVCorps

The CIDRZ HealthCorps Fellows Programme provides a valuable field training opportunity for future Zambian and expatriate public health leaders in the setting of a vibrant international organisation based in Lusaka. Fellowship attachments are 10-12 months long. The HealthCorps Fellowship provides opportunities to gain field experience in:

  • Programme implementation and management
  • Clinical trials research
  • Clinical care quality improvement systems
  • Data management, analysis and implementation science
  • Public health communications

The HealthCorps Fellowship targets medical, nursing or MPH students; recent graduates who wish to gain international experience; and college graduates with substantial skills or experience. Individuals with project management, public health, community outreach, research coordination, data management, statistical analysis, IT, scientific writing, and laboratory experience are particularly encouraged to apply. Previous international work experience is highly regarded, but not a requirement. For the 2015-16 fellowships we anticipate selecting 8-10 individuals who will be based in the capital Lusaka, with possible travel to various parts of Zambia. A modest monthly bursary to cover some of the travel costs and basic living expenses is available, local medical membership and emergency evacuation insurance is provided by CIDRZ. All accepted HealthCorps Fellows must be ready to attend orientation in the last week of July 2015. Fellowships start in August 2015.

Interested? Here is how to apply:

Further information and the Application Form are available at http://www.cidrz.org/healthcorps

Completed applications must be received at healthcorps@cidrz.org by March 16, 2015

Zambian Prisons Health paper features in WHO STOP TB Partnership News Alert

Congratulations to the CIDRZ TB Department whose project and resulting paper, “Screening for tuberculosis and testing for human immunodeficiency virus in Zambian Prisons” feature in World Health Organization’s STOP TB Partnership News Alert. Read the paper here

Zambian Prisons Health paper features in WHO STOP TB Partnership News Alert

Congratulations to the CIDRZ TB Department whose project and resulting paper, “Screening for tuberculosis and testing for human immunodeficiency virus in Zambian Prisons” feature in World Health Organization’s STOP TB Partnership News Alert. Read the paper here>>> [link to the paper]Congratulations to the CIDRZ TB Department whose project and resulting paper, “Screening for tuberculosis and testing for human immunodeficiency virus in Zambian Prisons” feature in World Health Organization’s STOP TB Partnership News Alert. Read the paper here>>> [link to the paper]

CIDRZ builds new links with Johns Hopkins University

As a key local partner to government in the delivery of healthcare, training and research, CIDRZ has developed an increasingly strong network of partners that help CIDRZ deliver on its mission for the Zambian people.

In recent months, CIDRZ has successfully collaborated with scientists at the University of Zambia, the University of Alabama and the University of California, and others on a series of new and exciting grants that will build CIDRZ’s scientific capacity to answer critical questions for the government of Zambia HIV programme.

This month, CIDRZ is pleased to announce a new collaboration with Johns Hopkins University. New linkages will provide CIDRZ and Zambian researchers and public health programmers entre to scientific, programmatic and laboratory technical assistance from this esteemed university.

As announced here CIDRZ Director and CEO, Dr Charles Holmes has also recently joined the Infectious Diseases faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “As a thriving local organisation, CIDRZ is thrilled to develop these strong links to Johns Hopkins,” said CIDRZ Deputy CEO, Dr. Izukanji Sikazwe. “It is our goal to link Zambia and CIDRZ with world-class scientists and experts who can keep us on the cutting-edge and help us to further the CIDRZ mission of innovative service delivery, locally relevant research and training.”

***************************

CIDRZ is an independent Zambian organisation with a mission “To improve access to quality healthcare in Zambia through innovative capacity development, exceptional implementation science and research, and impactful and sustainable public health programmes.” We are governed by a majority Zambian Board of Directors  including leaders in global health, the business community and government, and a 14-member Leadership Team , consisting of CIDRZ technical and operational leads.

CIDRZ Board of Directors Member, Dr Eric Goosby, appointed United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Tuberculosis

On 20 January 2015, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Dr. Eric P. Goosby – a CIDRZ Board Member – as the United Nations Special Envoy on Tuberculosis. Dr Goosby also serves as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Institute for Global Health Delivery and Diplomacy in Global Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. Special Envoy Goosby has over 30 years of experience with Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS as a clinician, researcher, and policy maker. In addition, Dr Goosby has a long and accomplished career in key leadership roles driving new initiatives on local and global treatment of HIV and TB including:

  • Founding Director of HIV Services at the US Department of Health and Human Services, administering the Ryan White CARE Act;
  • Deputy Director of the White House National AIDS Policy Office;
  • Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy at the US Department of Health and Human Services – leading the development of HIV/AIDS delivery systems in the US and conceived of and founded the Department of Health and Human Services’ Guidelines for Antiretroviral Therapy;
  • Founding CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation assisting in the development and implementation of HIV/AIDS and HIV-associated TB national treatment scale-up plans in many resource poor countries including South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Cote D’Ivoire, rural China, and the Ukraine;
  • Ambassador-at-Large and US Global AIDS Coordinator leading all US Government international HIV/AIDS efforts and overseeing implementation of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) expanding its scope to more aggressively address TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment as part of HIV treatment and care, as well as to support coordination of HIV and TB programs;
  • US Board Member to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria;
  • Founder of the Institute for Global Health Delivery and Diplomacy to apply scientific methods to the design and implementation of local health systems.

Upon learning of the appointment Dr Goosby said, “I am honored and I look forward to working closely with the UN Secretary General, the Global Tuberculosis Programme at the World Health Organization, and key stakeholders to raise awareness of the great need for expanded care and treatment for those affected by TB.  I will aim to support strengthening exercises in those countries most heavily impacted by tuberculosis in order to dramatically decrease the 1.5 million TB-related deaths occurring annually.”