CIDRZ has been an active partner of the Zambian Ministry of Health since inception and today our healthcare service programmes support more than 336 Government of the Republic of Zambia clinics located in two provinces – Western and Lusaka; with an active presence in Eastern and Souther province, where CIDRZ is providing support to strengthening laboratory systems and provision of health services correctional facilities. CIDRZ staff have played an instrumental role in the introduction and scale-up of Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission (PMTCT) and adult and paediatric antiretroviral therapy (ART); integration of ART services into TB, Outpatient and Antenatal Clinics; introduction and expansion of innovative “See and Treat” diagnosis and treatment for cancer of the cervix; and scale-up of voluntary medical male circumcision services. CIDRZ research has contributed substantially to knowledge of improved ways to treat HIV and TB co-infected individuals, including children, and adult and perinatal HIV prevention as well as public health evaluations and strengthening health systems in the public health sector, including the Zambian Prison Services. With the generous support of many international donors, most notably the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) administered through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Zambia, CIDRZ has been able to support the delivery of lifesaving services through the public health system in collaboration with the Government of Zambia.
Founded in 2001 as collaboration between the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Zambia, School of Medicine, and the Zambian government, CIDRZ was conceived as a centre to conduct maternal-child health research in Zambia. Rather than establish stand-alone research clinics, CIDRZ was determined to conduct locally-relevant research studies within the existing health system infrastructure. Several successful grant applications followed, and to date CIDRZ has completed over 80 studies, has 40 ongoing or planned trials, and has published over 260 peer-reviewed manuscripts.
In 2011, CIDRZ was incorporated as an independent, Zambian organisation. Today, CIDRZ has over 600 staff, researchers, trainees and volunteers; affiliates with many universities; and has on-site faculty from Johns Hopkins University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and University of North Carolina. In 2016, a prominent Zambian internal medicine and infectious disease physician Dr Izukanji Sikazwe took over leadership and strategic direction of CIDRZ, as Chief Executive Officer. CIDRZ has signed a robust new Memoranda of Understanding with the Zambian Government through the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Home Affairs, and launched a new strategic plan which focuses intensely on strengthening internal systems and governance controls. In 2014, CIDRZ recruited outstanding new Board members to help guide CIDRZ in our aim to become a long-term resource to Zambia, one that will create knowledge, build capacity of future health leaders and save and improve lives.