PREEMI – Working with Communities to Increase Facility Deliveries

In the densely-populated compound of Chawama in Lusaka, CIDRZ recently presented findings of an assessment that explained reasons why up to 80% of women living in Zone One were choosing not to go to the local health centre to deliver. In attendance at the presentation were hospital staff, community members and representatives from the Lusaka District Health Office.

The Zone One assessment concluded that most pregnant women in this area of the Chawama compound are knowledgeable about the risks and complications of pregnancy and labour, but cultural and religious barriers to early health-seeking and facility deliveries are still strong. Family members, and especially spouses, play a major role in women making decisions about their healthcare, including delivering at a health facility. In addition, the type of service and support a woman receives from the facility provider either motivated or demotivated her to access the health facility in her time of need.

With generous funding from The ELMA Foundation, CIDRZ is conducting a programme called Preterm Resources, Education, and Effective Management of Infants, or PREEMI. The CIDRZ PREEMI team are working with local Safe Motherhood Action Groups (SMAGs) to help sensitise members of the community about important health issues as they relate to pregnant mothers, unborn babies and infants. Using drama performances, one-to-one and group meetings, trained SMAG members explain the importance of early healthcare seeking in pregnancy and labour, and challenge some of the cultural, religious, and healthcare service communication and provision barriers that prevent this.

35 Local Chawama Women Trained as SMAGs

Thus, women in the community with SMAG training can be excellent local resources to pregnant women and their families by providing information, encouraging facility deliveries, and demystifying community perceptions about the health facility. But clearly, good communication skills and care provided by health facility staff to pregnant and labouring women play a major role in the success of this initiative. Moving forward  more community education on the importance of facility delivery targeting spouses, family members, traditional elders and church leaders is required, as well as training and systems approaches to improving the quality of care provided at local health facilities.

During the event, 35 SMAG members based in Chawama were presented with certificates of achievement at the Chawama Mini Hospital.

With PEPFAR and CDC Support, CIDRZ working towards strengthening TB management in Zambia

Photos: Dr Natalie Vlahakis, CIDRZ Clinical Care Specialist;
Outpatients registering for TB screening in Kanyama, Lusaka

CIDRZ, with the support of the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDs Relief (PEPFAR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnership, has been implementing the ‘Scaling-Up TB prevention, screening, diagnosis and care programme by rolling out the WHO 3″I’s strategy in 154 sites in Western, Eastern, Lusaka and Southern Provinces. This strategy entails Intensified TB Case Finding (ICF), provision of Isoniazid Preventative Therapy and TB Infection Control in HIV settings.

To achieve all this, with PEPFAR funding, CIDRZ has this year alone, procured two GeneXpert machines, facilitated installation of five other machines and is maintaining 15 GeneXpert machines in 4 provinces. We are also supporting 3 digital chest x-ray machines in Lusaka. Additionally, CIDRZ is engaged in TB/HIV service provision and linkages: over 352 healthcare workers and 182 Peer Educators have been trained in TB/HIV service provision,” says Dr Natalie Vlahakis, CIDRZ Clinical Care Specialist during the commemoration of this year’s World TB Day commemorated under the Global Theme: Unite to End TB.

CIDRZ programmes are Inclusive 

Since 2010, the CIDRZ TB department has worked closely with Zambia Correctional Services to support entry and exit screening for TB and HIV in prison inmates and remandees, implement the 3’I’s and to provide TB and HIV prevention, care and treatment services in prisons,” Dr Vlahakis added.

CIDRZ also works with the National TB programme in the revision of TB guidelines, manuals and recording tools to strengthen the healthcare interventions against the disease.

Gracing the WTB Day event, Chongwe Mayor, His Lordship Geoffrey Chumbwe said “TB remains a major public health problem hence the World TB Day Commemoration provides a big opportunity to make all Zambians aware about the causes and precautions of TB.”

As a lead up to this WTB Day, CIDRZ provided screening services for inmates at the Lusaka Correctional Facility, as well outpatients at the Kanyama First Level Hospital in Lusaka.

2013-2014 estimates indicate that for every 100,000 Zambians, 455 have TB. The vast majority of TB is curable if found and treated.

Employment Opportunity: CIDRZ ICT Director

ICT Director   –  Reference No. DR/IT/06/03/17

Closing date for applications: 22 March 2017

This position is a direct report to the Chief Operating Officer and provides leading-edge ICT services to the functional units of CIDRZ. S/he leads the ICT team in the delivery of services, supports the computing hardware, networks, and software needs of numerous departments and provides both strategic and operational guidance to the dynamic ICT team.

Main duties

  • Spearheads the development of the ICT Department’s balanced scorecard strategic plan and cascades it to departmental level.
  • Ensures individual balanced score cards for all department members are done at beginning of each year, and performance is managed accordingly by supervisors through the tool.
  • Develops standards and processes that optimise and leverage technology to reduce operational costs and enhance efficiency.
  • Ensures ICT infrastructure is protected by updated BC/DR systems and policies.
  • Negotiates and manages service level agreements (SLA) to ensure full delivery of service provider services.
  • Plays a leading role in the procurement processes of all ICT services, hardware and software.
  • Oversees the implementation of and adherence to the internal ICT policy and other state regulations related to ICT.
  • Responsible for the development and tracking of ICT budgets.


  • Master’s Degree or higher in relevant IT field
  • At least 5 years’ experience at Senior Leadership level with practical demonstrable accomplishments in development, deployment, implementation and maintenance of IT systems
  • Proven leadership and strong management skills
  • Proficient at establishing IT services framework and IT security policies
  • Must possess project and budget management skills
  • Strong grasp and understanding of ICT with forward-looking preparedness of the changing ICT environment
  • Proficient with integrated workflow based financial, supply chain, manufacturing, sales and inventory control systems such as Sage X3, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics
  • Good understanding of wired and wireless networking technologies
  • Highly innovative with knowledge of Linux/Unix, Mac OSX and Windows OS
  • Able to communicate effectively at all levels of the organisation; able to build meaningful internal and external relationships
  • Highly motivated; and able to work independently
  • High levels of integrity, optimism, and good sense of humour
  • Commitment to teamwork and motivation; strong Leadership and interpersonal skills.

Closing Date for receiving applications is  22nd March 2017

Suitably qualified candidates are invited to apply; however only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Please send application letter and detailed CV quoting Reference Number and day-time telephone number to:

CIDRZ Human Resources Director              PO Box 34681, LUSAKA or email:

New Closing Date – Deputy Chief Executive Officer Vacancy – 31 March 2017

Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO)                      Ref No. DC/EX/17/01/17

Reports to Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The incumbent develops a strong understanding of the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) national strategic plans for health, new developments that could affect CIDRZ, and global developments relating to the Sustainable Development Goals and trends in donor investments. S/he works closely with the CEO in the engagement and building of strategic relationships with the GRZ donor agencies, CIDRZ donor agencies, non-governmental partners, civil society groups including faith-based organisations, and the media.

Main Duties:
Provides high-level directional and strategic input into CIDRZ business development activities, including around partnerships and development of consortia. Drives the CIDRZ strategic planning process, including measurement of progress against strategic objectives and departmental accountability for results, and ensures that CIDRZ is meeting its mission. Understands the risks facing the organisation, and works closely with Executive Committee (EXCO) members, the Board of Directors and outside parties to put into place effective risk mitigation strategies. Works in collaboration with EXCO members to ensure the effectiveness and compliance of operational, programmatic and research arms of the organisation. Directly oversees the Business Development and Grants and Contracts units and provides support to the CEO in the management of direct reports, as assigned. Sets an annual communications plan with the Communications unit and ensures timely completion of high quality external communications and regular internal communication. Sets effective agendas for and co-chairs monthly meetings of the Leadership Team, and bi-weekly meetings of the EXCO. Provides internal “management consultations” for troubled units or managers. Serves as a signatory for financial agreements between CIDRZ, donor organisations, and subcontractors. Participates in the development and implementation of innovative clinical, epidemiological, and operational research studies, designed to address key issues identified by the Zambian Ministry of Health (MOH). Supports the development and implementation of policies that ensure CIDRZ representation at the policy level, including in key Technical Working Groups supported by the MOH and other Ministries. Supports the CEO and broader organisation in meeting programmatic, research, training and policy mission, as required.


– Minimum of 8 years’ Management Consulting/Senior Executive management experience
– Postgraduate degree; preferably MBA, MPH and/or PhD, MD
– Proven results-oriented leader, with high-level skills in organisational management, able to manage and create clarity in a complex environment
– Experience managing effectively in a multi-cultural setting
– Excellent written and verbal English communication skills are a prerequisite
– Experience in healthcare delivery, management and research is preferred
– Experience managing program and research grants is preferred 

NEW Closing Date for receiving applications is 31st March, 2017.

Suitably qualified candidates are invited to apply; however only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Please send application letter quoting Reference Number above, relevant academic and professional certificates, and detailed CV with day-time telephone number(s) to:

CIDRZ Human Resources Director
PO Box 34681, LUSAKA or email:

Mr Ackim Sinkala Joins CIDRZ as CFO

CIDRZ is pleased to welcome Mr Ackim Sinkala who joins the organisation as Chief Financial Officer. Mr Sinkala has over 21 years’ experience in the finance and accountancy fields in Zambia. His most recent appointment was Financial Controller at Investrust Bank. Prior to that he served as Chief Financial Officer at Intermarket Banking Corp. (Z) Ltd., Finance Manager at Zambia Centre for Accountancy Studies (ZCAS), Financial Systems Manager at Zambia Sugar Plc, Management Accountant at Spectra Oil Corporation, and Administrative Accountant at Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines.

He is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (ACMA) and a Fellow of the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (FZICA). Mr Sinkala holds a Masters of Business Administration from Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh Business School, UK, and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA-UK), Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), and College Certificate in Accountancy qualifications.