PEPFAR/CDC awards CIDRZ USD25m “Lab Innovation for Excellence (LIFE)” Grant

We are proud to announce that following a highly competitive process, CIDRZ emerged successful and was recently awarded a new co-operative agreement to implement the “Scaling Up Lab Services for Viral Load and Early Infant Diagnosis Testing to Meet the 90/90/90 Goals” project otherwise known as Lab Innovation for Excellence (LIFE).

It is a great honor for our organization that the United States Government, through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has once again called on CIDRZ. Our selection demonstrates the central importance of CIDRZ within the health landscape in Zambia, and that we are considered a trusted and capable partner by all stakeholders.

LIFE is a USD 25 million five-year project that aims at improving lab hubs in four provinces – Eastern, Lusaka, Southern and Western Provinces. This grant will enable CIDRZ to further strengthen our model partnership with the Ministry of Health through which we work to build a strong and sustainable health system for the delivery of quality healthcare to Zambians and control of the HIV epidemic.

This project will work in the third 90: monitoring of clients on anti-retroviral therapy and this will be scaled up to ensure clients’ needs are met.

LIFE will work towards strengthening the health systems by:

  • improving sample courier networks
  • providing equipment and personnel
  • improving quality management systems and
  • providing stable power (green energy among them) at pre-analytical level
  • improving data flow from facility, to testing

We have received this grant due to the excellence of the CIDRZ Central Laboratory team which has made us competitive. Dr Ranjit Warrier is the Principal Investigator for this project

 

Dr Izukanji Sikazwe

CEO and Director

CIDRZ Gets new Award: Mental Health Capacity Building Trial (CBT)

We are pleased to announce that CIDRZ has been given an award of a grant for a study “Evaluating Implementation Strategies to Scale-up Trans diagnostic Evidence-based Mental Health Care in Zambia”otherwise known as “Mental Health Capacity Building Trial (CBT).”

Mental Health CBT is an implementation science award from the National Institute of Mental Health at the United States National Institutes of Health (i.e., US government). This is a five year (2018 – 2023) project and whose Principal Investigator is Dr Izukanji Sikazwe with Dr Michael Vinikoor being the Co-Investigator.

During the life of the project, we will develop and test a technology-based training tool to increase capacity to provide mental health care in Zambia.

This is the first ever and largest project for CIDRZ in the field of mental health and will build on:

  1. CIDRZ knowledge of and experience working within the Zambian health system
  2. Track-record in training lay and professional health workers, and
  3. Capacity to conduct rigorous research.

The project team will focus on closing the gap in local Zambian expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviours, and thoughts. It focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions, and change destructive patterns of behaviour.

Zambian counselors who already provide a type of CBT called CETA (Common Elements Treatment Approach) will be trained to become expert trainers of CETA.

Mental health (which includes a broad array of conditions like trauma, anxiety, depression, and alcohol and drug abuse) is neglected in Zambia and expanding local capacity for treatment is a priority to improve the health and well-being of the Zambian people. Historically there have been inadequate local experts to train local counselors in evidence-based CBT techniques like CETA. If the pool of local expert trainers Is expanded, those experts can then train and supervise local counselors, which could help scale-up the capacity to tackle these problems within the health system.

 

New Grant: Elton John AIDS Foundation Awards CIDRZ a £750,000 Grant

CIDRZ receives a Two and half year grant from Elton John Foundation for Building capacities of the Zambia Correctional Service to provide holistic and integrated health services to juvenile offenders.

The Elton John Foundation has awarded CIDRZ a £750,000 to provide comprehensive, juvenile-appropriate health services including recreational and legal services.

The grant will focus on incarcerated juveniles owing to their vulnerability, marginalisation and increased risk of sexual exploitation and discrimination, hence, increased risk of HIV infection especially those incarcerated in adult holding facilities..

This grant will provide comprehensive interventions tailored to the needs of incarcerated juveniles aimed at reducing risk of HIV and other STI infections subsequently morbidity and mortality due to HIV and TB, and improve the quality of life of incarcerated juveniles.

In addition, the grant will initiate adolescent friendly health and social services, support legal services and advocate for judicial reform to expedite case disposal thereby reducing time of detention without trail.

For more information on this project, you can contact  the Principal Investigateor, Dr Monde Muyoyeta, CIDRZ Director of TB programme (monde.muyoyeta@cidrz.org); or Clement Moonga, the Programme Manager (clement.moonga@cidrz.org).

CIDRZ employees donate blood

Dr Mulenga, Medical Director

The importance of blood in one’s life could never be overemphasized. The billions of cells in our bodies need a steady supply of oxygen to function properly, a function critical to blood.

Zambia for example collects an average of 115,742 units of blood annually (based on 1% of national population) currently short the 150,000 units the country needs to service everyone in need of this life saving fluid.  With high and rapidly increasing demand for blood and blood products, the annual units of blood needed are estimated at 300,000 units.

To support the Zambia National Blood Transfusion Service (ZNBTS), CIDRZ in collaboration with ZNBTS conducted a blood drive for its employees to donate blood to the blood bank, with 21 employees donating blood.

CIDRZ CEO, Dr Izukanji Sikazwe commended ZNBTS; “we appreciate the efforts of ZNBTS in saving the lives of millions of Zambian in need of blood. CIDRZ has benefited from your services because barely two weeks ago, one of our staff members life was saved through blood transfusion and as an organisation, we thought it would be prudent to support ZNBTS’s efforts through the blood donation drive we are having today”.

And Dr Joseph Mulenga, Medical Director at ZNBTS highlighted some of the challenges being faced by the blood bank in meeting its annual targets.

“Countrywide Scale up of cancer treatment, cardiac surgery, renal treatment, increased hospital bed space through the upgrading of hospitals and newly built hospitals country wide, high prevalence of HIV and Hepatitis B Virus in the general population, lack of a cost recovery or re-imbursement scheme to fill the financing gap and reliance only on government for funding are some of the challenges faced by ZNBTS”.

Dr Mulenga said added to the challenges is lack of Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAT) to complement serologic tests for testing of blood for Transfusion Transmissible Infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B Virus and Hepatitis C Virus  and capacity for Apheresis, Stem Cell collection and processing, Leucodepletion and Gamma Irradiation of products, HLA, Tissue Typing and Pathogen Inactivation procedures.

To mitigate these challenges ZNBTS has established Provincial Blood Transfusion Centre in all the 10 provinces to mobilize and recruit more voluntary non remunerated blood donors, conduct blood donor counseling, implement blood donor retention programmes & promote repeat blood donations.

Other measures include collecting 300,000 blood units (2% of estimated national population) per year, scale up blood component production, implement Apheresis procedures at 10 Centre’s, collect Platelets, FFP, plasma, 2-RBCs, source plasma, granulocytes, HLA typing, Irradiation, leucodepletion stem cell harvesting, implement ID-NAT testing procedures, promotion of rational use of blood & blood products and introduction of a partial cost recovery programme.

Head Business Development

Do you have a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Public Health, or other relevant field with at least 5 years relevant work experience in proposal development and grants pipeline analysis in the public health sector. You could just be the one we are looking for.

We are looking for someone to Head our Business Development unit. Apply now. For details, follow this link.

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.

Qualifications

  • 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: jobs@cidrz.org

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Comic Relief and Elma Philanthropies Services Visit CIDRZ

IMG_4174-001

Left to right: Dr Richard Mutemwa, Zumbe Siwale, Dr Albert Manasyan, Dr Siobahn Crowley ELMA Philanthropies Services, Dr Zuzu Sikazwe, Dr Carolyn Bolton, Lola Adedokun Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Lucie Graham Comic Relief, Dr Chris Ngandwe, Dr Monde Muyoyeta, and Dr Roma Chilengi

On 10th December CIDRZ was privileged to host key representatives from some of our current donors: Lola Adedokum, Program Director for Child Well-being and Director for the African Health Initiative of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Lucie Graham, International Programmes Manager of Comic Relief; and Dr Siobahn Crowley, Director of Health of ELMA Philanthropies Services. During their visit they met with Dr Elizabeth Chizema, Ministry of Health, Director of Disease Surveillance, Control and Research, toured the Child Health Unit Vaccine Cold Chain System and visited CIDRZ Central Laboratory.

They also discussed progress on funded activities as well as spent a day with CIDRZ scientists and programme directors learning about future proposed projects that would tackle key issues in Zambia under the areas of HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care; Health Systems Strengthening; Viral Hepatitis; Maternal and Newborn Care; and Tuberculosis Prevention, Treatment and Care.

IMG_4150

IMG_4154

Head of Grants & Contracts

Head of Grants & Contracts

Reports to the Deputy Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for the oversight and management of all grants and contracts within CIDRZ.

Summary:

Serves as the lead expert for the planning, implementation and evaluation of grant proposals and provides guidance on cooperative agreements, cost-share agreements, participating agreements, collection agreements, inter-agency and intra-agency agreements and Memoranda of Understanding.

Leads the development of organisational strategies through the identification of gaps and issues in grant proposals.

Main Duties:

  • Serves as a key liaison between CIDRZ and local and international partnering organisations
  • Responsible for ensuring professional relationships are maintained with all partners
  • Develops and implements new and revised grants management policies, directives, standards and procedures
  • Maintains current knowledge of relevant information sources and key landscape events which may impact policies and procedures and provides strategic input to senior management
  • Provides detailed explanations of finding and recommendations regarding compliance with grant documents and recommendations
  • Develops, analyses, and interprets grant and/or cooperative agreement policies, Standard Operating Procedures, and guidelines
  • Develops training, technical assistance and guidelines, and provides oversight, expertise and consultation to internal staff, management and programme officials, awardees, review panels, applicants, recipients, and sub-recipients Independently analyzes grant requests and provides recommendations to management; may decline or approve grants
  • Ensures all required legal and financial paperwork is properly reviewed by the Compliance Officer and is in line with CIDRZ policies
  • Facilitates pre-award negotiations on matters such as terms and conditions of awards, costs, schedules, and oversight responsibilities

Qualifications:

Master’s Degree in Business Administration/Accountancy or other relevant professional qualification with minimum of 7 years’ experience with private sector, NGO, or international organisation

  • Strong knowledge and training in U.S. Government, or other donor regulations and policies
  • Proven experience with budget development, monitoring and reporting, and strategic development
  • Demonstrates high degree of independence, requiring minimal supervision to accomplish complex project work assignments
  • Ability to proactively identify projects and initiatives, and eagerly accept challenges and new responsibilities
  • Ability to successfully interface with senior level colleagues in other organisations and maintain relationships with international partners

Suitably qualified candidates are invited to apply; only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Please send application letter quoting job title, relevant academic and professional certificates and detailed CV with day-time telephone to: CIDRZ Director Human Resources P. O. Box 34681, Plot 5032 Great North Road Lusaka or Email: jobs@cidrz.org

Closing Date for applications 3rd December

Community ART for Retention in Zambia Study

CIDRZ has been awarded a USD 4.49 million Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant in support of the Community ART for Retention in Zambia Study, or ‘Community ART’. The study will be conducted in close collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Zambia and aims to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of innovative models of care delivery designed to reduce health systems barriers to care, and leverage community support to improve retention in HIV care and treatment (ART) programs. Dr Charles Holmes, CIDRZ Chief Executive Officer and Johns Hopkins faculty member, and CIDRZ Deputy CEO, Dr Izukanji Sikazwe are co-Principal Investigators, and are joined by Dr Crispin Moyo (Ministry of Health), Dr Bushimbwa Tambatamba (Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health), Dr Elvin Geng (University of California, San Francisco), Dr Willbroad Mutale (University of Zambia), and Dr Carolyn Bolton (CIDRZ) along with numerous other co-investigators and local trainees.

The scale-up of HIV care and treatment services in Zambia over the last 10 years has resulted in vastly increased access to HIV care and treatment services for adults and children. However, this scale-up has taken place in the context of a health care system with overstretched human resources and physical infrastructure, and has required individual patients to regularly travel long distances to fixed clinics and endure long wait times with minimal community support. These challenges have resulted in suboptimal patient outcomes including high rates of disengagement from care and death, not just in Zambia, but in other regions hard hit by the HIV pandemic. It is therefore critical to identify models of care that can more effectively and efficiently provide care to patients with varied healthcare intensity needs in order to improve the ability of the health system to meet patient needs and ensure patient motivation to remain in lifelong, life-saving ART care.

The ‘Community ART’ Study was conceived of during discussions with the Government of the Republic of Zambia, along with local community groups of individuals living with HIV, PEPFAR, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study will pursue two strategies simultaneously in order to obtain both broad-based insights into the demand and preferences for differentiated care in Zambia, as well as practical insights about implementation and outcomes of leading models of differentiated care that are already under consideration in Zambia.  The mixed-methods approach of survey research, discrete choice experiments, interviews and focus group discussions complemented by concurrent implementation of four differentiated care models incorporating innovative systems approaches to information technology, community support, real-time monitoring and quality framed by rigorous impact evaluation will yield insights into these models’ overall quality, feasibility, cost, cost-effectiveness and fit within the Zambian health system. In addition, the study will inform the creation of a “methodologic” tool kit that could be used by other countries in the region to identify models of differentiated care appropriate to their particular needs and resources. The study will be conducted in urban, semi-urban and rural settings in Lusaka, Southern and Eastern Provinces, over 24 months.

Ministry of Health Clinical Care Specialist and co-Investigator Dr Crispin Moyo remarked that “The Ministry of Health is looking forward to working with CIDRZ on yet another landmark intervention to improve access to ART services by further decentralizing care and treatment services to the community. The Community ART study of various care provision models will provide insights on program level impact and will shed light on the whether the intervention can be taken to scale in a sustainable manner”.

Through this work, the Zambian Government and key community and care and treatment partners will gain access to a detailed understanding of the preferences for differentiated care within Zambian society as well as more focused data from model implementation, and therefore will be better poised to work with a range of funders to move forward with scale-up of well-conceived and effective models of ART care across the country. This close partnership between CIDRZ and the Zambian Government ensures relevance and gives the study the greatest opportunity to dramatically and favorably transform the future course of the Zambian national HIV care and treatment program.

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