Director of CIDRZ TB Programmes Receives 2015 National Science and Technology Council Merit Award

Congratulations to CIDRZ Director of TB Programmes – Dr Monde Muyoyeta MBChB, PhD – who has been awarded the 2015 Zambian National Science and Technology Council Merit Award for exceptional and invaluable contribution to research and development in science and technology.

Dr Muyoyeta joined CIDRZ in 2015 from ZAMBART where she served as Head of Diagnostic Studies and spent over nine years designing and conducting field epidemiological and laboratory studies. While at ZAMBART Dr Muyoyeta held several key positions including study manager on the ZAMSTAR study, a large, two-country randomized control trial of community-level interventions aimed at reducing the burden of TB and HIV.

She is currently CIDRZ Investigator on the AERAS TB vaccine clinical trial, and on the TB Alliance STAND study for novel combinations of drugs for TB treatment. She has led studies evaluating computer-aided TB diagnosis using digital radiography and field evaluations of Xpert MTB/RIF, a new TB diagnostic technology.  Her research interests include implementation and evaluation of new diagnostic technologies specifically in patients with both TB and HIV, and for TB control and prevention.

She will be presented her award on 12th November – World Science Day for Peace and Development – by Dr Patrick Nkanza, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education.

 

Research Meeting: HPTN 071 PopART Study Testing Universal HIV Testing and Treatment to Reduce Transmission

At today’s Research meeting, Dr Mwate Joseph Chaila and Besa Mwale from ZAMBART presented the Year 1 progress of the PopART study which is  being implemented in Zambia and South Africa.

The HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 071 trial, Population Effect of Universal HIV Testing and Immediate ART To Reduce HIV Transmission (PopART) is being conducted in Zambia by ZAMBART and in sites in South Africa.

PopART is one of the first studies to test the ‘Universal Test and Treat (UTT) approach on a population level which could be an important intervention to prevent HIV infection.

It is hypothesised that universal voluntary HIV testing with appropriate combination prevention offered to all those testing HIV negative in addition to immediate ART for all those testing HIV positive will have a substantial impact on HIV incidence at the population level. The trial is important because a rigorously designed and conducted trial can measure the costs and benefits of this strategy and provide reliable evidence on cost-effectiveness to health policy makers.

The main PopART trial is on track and the sub-components looking at: i)  the uptake of home-based testing offered by trained community workers, ii) the role of clinic-based health care workers in HIV stigma, iii) the uptake and acceptability of UTT in adolescents, and iv) health economics looking at the cost effectiveness of UTT versus standard of care have all been launched.

One tricky challenge that the Zambia PopART team say they have experienced in Year 1 is to successfully and consistently link all men who have tested HIV positive to ART care. ZAMBART has initiated community mobilisation strategies and weekend activities aimed to reach the men and encourage them to seek care at ART clinics to address this issue.

PopART is expected to be completed in 2018.

 

 

 

Getting the MC Message Out!

Nasdec Nov 2015

NASDEC_2015_2

Medical Male Circumcision (MC) is part of the Zambian health strategy for HIV prevention, yet it is not commonly practiced in the country.

Medical MC has been proven to reduce a man’s risk of acquiring HIV from an infected female sex partner by 60%, as well as decrease the risk of him transmitting the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)  – the virus responsible for women developing cancer of the cervix – a serious problem in Zambia.

In order to get the message out to men, and women, about the importance and benefit of medical male circumcision performed by trained  providers, the CIDRZ  MC mobilisers have been attending local traditional and youth-oriented social events.

This past weekend MC mobilisers set up a sensitisation stand at the Chakwela Makumbi Traditional Ceremony of the Soli People in Chongwe presided over by Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II where 40 men booked themselves for the procedure at the local clinic.

The following day they attended the youth sensitisation at the National Sports Development Council where over 2000 Lusaka-based youth gathered to listen to music, learn more about voter registration, and hear sensitisation about HIV/AIDS, MC and prevention of cervical cancer. Over 30 young men signed up to be booked for the MC procedure at Lusaka clinics.

NASDEC_Nov 2015_4

 

Vacancy: Assistant Manager Laboratory Operations

Job 2

Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) is a Zambian Non-Governmental Organisation improving the health of Zambians by conducting locally-relevant research, providing technical support and training, and strengthening primary healthcare provision systems in the areas of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis and other infectious diseases, women’s health including cancer, newborn and child health, community outreach, and health systems strengthening. CIDRZ has been an active partner of the Government of the Republic of Zambia since 2001 through collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other line Ministries. CIDRZ now wishes to recruit:

CIDRZ JOB VACANCY

Assistant Manager Laboratory Operations         Ref No. AM/LB/14/10/15 – Lusaka

Reports to the Lab Operations Manager, and supervises the lab practice, staff competency and quality of work across all sections of the central laboratory and the satellite labs.

MAIN DUTIES:

  • Develops the duty roster with specific assigned tasks for each lab staff member
  • Trains, mentors and supervises the lab practice and quality of work of Biomed Techs and Lab Assistants.
  • Trains Lab support staff
  • Monitors general compliance to the Quality Assurance (QA)/Quality Control (QC) system review across all benches
  • Compiles and submits bi-weekly reports to management on QC lapses observed during reviews
  • Provides primary review of documents across all lab benches
  • Monitors clinic staff adherence to policies and requirements per the Laboratory Manual, and other documentation
  • Follows through with all vendors for timely performance of scheduled preventive maintenance
  • Works with the Virology team to ensure that monthly reports for the Early Infant Diagnosis program are submitted to the Ministry of Health

QUALIFICATIONS:Please send application letter quoting Reference Number and relevant academic, professional certificates and detailed CV with day-time telephone to:

CIDRZ Director Human Resources P.O. Box 34681, LUSAKA or email: jobs@cidrz.org

Research Meeting: Need to Improve Menstrual Hygiene Management to Improve Girl’s School Attendance

At today’s CIDRZ Research Meeting qualitative researchers Joyce Chinyama Chilekwa, Mercy Mwale and Lisa Chileshe (photo from left) presented preliminary findings of a Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) assessment conducted in Mumbwa District, Zambia. Focus Group Discussions and In-Depth Interviews with male and female students, teachers and parents indicated that there was lack of understanding about menstruation, how, when and who should prepare girls with this knowledge, and scarcity of hygienic and comfortable menstrual sanitary supplies and pain relief for use. Girls indicated that they preferred to stay away from school for the days of their menses for fear of soiling their uniforms and being ridiculed by male peers.

Assessment of school water and sanitation facilities indicated a lack of safe, private, and clean lavatory, hand washing, and appropriate disposal facilities.

The study was undertaken to provide the Ministry of Education task force on improving Menstrual Hygiene Management for school-going girls data to inform the development of MHM guidelines. Improving general understanding about menstruation, and provision of menstrual supplies, and private water and sanitation facilities at schools for girls will improve their school attendance and self-esteem.

 

 

 

Research Meeting: Highlights from the Community COMPACT Project

_DSC0140

At this week’s research meeting Musonda Musonda (above), Head of CIDRZ Community Programmes, presented the end of Fiscal Year 2015 update on the PEPFAR/CDC-funded Community COMPACT programme.

This COMPACT community-led HIV prevention programme aims to increase  individuals and couples who know their HIV status and receive information and services that will help avert new infections in urban Kanyama Compound, Lusaka Province and rural Kalabo District, Western Province, Zambia.

Community COMPACT is unique because the community itself determines it HIV prevention strategy, receives the required training to enact the plan, and then carries out the work. Here are some highlights of this year’s accomplishments:

  • Through door-to-door VCT drives and facility-based HIV counselling and testing 79,816 individuals in these 2 communities now know their HIV status. Those found positive have received Prevention with Positives messaging and also have been referred to relevant services at health facilities and are encouraged to start anti-retroviral (ART) treatment regardless of their CD4 T-cell count.
  • Community volunteers received training in Couples Counselling and reached out to peers to provide testing and counselling in a model that is especially effective if the testing couple are found with discordant HIV results. In Kanyama, couple counsellors have also reached out to those in church fellowships and mosques. In Kalabo, 50 couple counsellors reach out to those in remote rural areas, and formation of Couples Clubs enables couples to support and encourage each other in adherence to treatment.
  • Fifty COMPACT volunteers in Kanyama have also received training in Key Populations Counselling that has enabled them to reach out and provide HIV testing and counselling, condoms, and prevention and treatment messaging to commercial sex workers and other vulnerable target populations.

An integral part of COMPACT is to ensure that the community knows about and accesses other health services available to them such as cervical cancer screening, family planning and medical male circumcision.

Vacancy: Senior Data Manager

CIDRZ is an independent, local, non-governmental health organisation established in Zambia in 2001. Our experts utilise innovative and collaborative approaches to develop research, health services and training initiatives with measurable results in public health. In the context of CIDRZ’s vision to improve health outcomes in Zambia, health systems strengthening refers to a range of activities and initiatives designed to improve the underlying health system or manage interactions between components of the system in ways that help ensure more equitable and sustainable health services and health outcomes. In addition to addressing health system issues, CIDRZ has a strong commitment to answering key research questions relevant to Zambia and the region. We achieve this mission by conducting high quality clinical trials and implementation science.

TERMS OF REFERENCE:     Senior Data Manager

The position of Senior Data Manager is key to ensuring that a strong and creative team is in place to manage and implement research/programmes to fulfill this mandate. This grade C8 position reports to the Chief Scientific Officer and manages CIDRZ databases for programmatic reporting, monitoring and evaluation, and clinical research and involves close collaboration with the ICT Director, Chief Scientific Officer, and service and research Programme Heads. He/she will create, refine, implement and oversee standard operating procedures for comprehensive data management.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Work closely with ICT department to ensure that all data management software and hardware needs are met and maintained.
  • Interact with project Principal Investigators and programme Heads to ensure that all data management needs are understood and met.
  • Take the lead in reviewing the current and future data management needs of the institution and implement required systems to handle those needs.
  • Provide leadership and mentorship to data managers and other unit staff on systems and technical skills and training.
  • Have administrative and managerial responsibility in terms of planning, day-to-day operations and forecasting of unit needs.
  • Ensure that each project is making due progress according to agreed data management plans and that the data can be extracted for needed analyses in a timely manner.
  • Lead establishment, review and upgrading of data management unit Standard Operating Procedures
  • Ensure that the existing data systems are functioning optimally at all times
  • Promote team building and work collegially as part of all studies and programme teams from the data angle
  • Actively participate in exploring new avenues to keep CIDRZ up to date with current global trends in data management practices.
  • Provide support to new studies and programmes in formulating their data management plans and budgetary requirements
  • Provide oversight and supervision to staff in data management
  • Address issues of data access and maintain various levels of permissions to staff accessing data
  • Be responsible for the safe storage and archival of all CIDRZ electronic data
  • Ongoing strategic planning to build data systems that meet diverse program needs, including reporting, quality improvement and research
  • Other data management related duties as may be assigned

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE

Required:

  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics or Computer related subject; Bachelor of Science in CS/Informatics/Data related field OR Master of Science in CS/Informatics/Data related field OR more than 5 years’ experience managing large databases, preferably in the health field
  • Must be highly proficient in SAS or STATA programming, ideally with some proficiency in both
  • Highly proficient in SQL, VBA and other database software such as Access
  • Relevant experience in data management OR with at least 3 years’ work experience at senior data management level
  • Proven team leadership skills in diverse settings
  • Experience designing data systems and working knowledge of data analysis

Excellent written and oral communication skills, with demonstrable experience writing grants and progress reports

Preferred:

  • Strong computer skills
  • Demonstrable exposure to data processing/analysis
  • Experience in real world database design both for research enterprises as well as for clinical use

If interested, please send cover letter and current CV including reachable references to Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Roma Chilengi via Roma.Chilengi@cidrz.org or Chief Executive Officer, Dr Charles Holmes via Charles.Holmes@cidrz.org

 

CIDRZ Internal Audit Department Providing Improved and Strengthened Programme Implementation

Thumbnail photo left:  Inonge Wambulawae, CIDRZ Chief Financial Officer and Zambian Accountant of the Year – 2014 delivering a talk “Auditing Third Party Risk – The Boards Perspective! at the Governance, Risk and Control – Adapting to Change Institute of Internal Auditors Zambia meeting recently.

_DSC0039

 

Above from L: Emmanuel Lumbwe (Head of Audit Department), Emmanuel Chisongo, Nedson Theu, Elizabeth Makeche, Inonge Wambulawae (CFO) and Danny Sulwe

Internal Audit is an integral part of the CIDRZ programme management cycle with an expanded role to provide risk assessment and management as well as monitoring compliance to donor regulations and conditions.

Internal audit is not just about checking petty cash, but it is a function that helps review all aspects of a programme to achieve better results and ensure value for money considering that we use donor conditional grants that need to be reported against,” says Mr. Emmanuel Lumbwe, Head of Internal Audit.

We are not the Police, we are Partners

The Internal Audit function at CIDRZ draws its mandate from the organisation’s Audit Charter and has control over internal audit, compliance, governance and other associated systems and reports directly to the Audit Committee, a subcommittee within the Board of Directors. “We normally conduct annual risk assessments which are ranked in hierarchical order. We then engage with the programme staff to see how we can avert or minimise risk likelihood and impact; this is what drives our risk plan for the year.”

I am aware that internal audit has been viewed as a ‘police’ but it shouldn’t be like that, we are partners in fulfilling our mandate as CIDRZ. That’s why we engage our colleagues in programmes to see how best we can achieve our results while complying to set standards and procedures,” Mr. Lumbwe adds.

Maturing in Risk Management

Over the past few years, CIDRZ has worked towards strengthening the internal audit function within the organisation. Among the interventions implemented include the establishment of the Audit Committee within the Board as well as the Risk Management Committee within the CIDRZ management structure, with the latter also tasked with capacity-building of staff in internal audit.

Much of the recent funding into CIDRZ has been coming because of the confidence donors have in the improved and strengthened Audit systems.  I am proud to say that CIDRZ is maturing in risk management and we are proud of that achievement,” notes Mr. Lumbwe.

CIDRZ Internal Audit Keeping up with Modern Trends

With risk management being dynamic, all five members of the CIDRZ Internal Audit team are members of the Institute of Internal Auditors Zambia (IIA-Z), a national body that provides training and guidance on best practices. Recently, the CIDRZ Internal Audit team attended a two-day conference organised by the IIA-Z in Livingstone, Zambia which focused on Governance, Risk and Control – Adapting to Change.

It’s always important for internal auditors to be abreast with the current trends so they can know how best to serve their organisations,” added Nedson Theu, an Internal Auditor at CIDRZ.

During the Conference, CIDRZ’s Chief Financial Officer and also 2014 Zambian Accountant of the Year, Inonge Wambulawae was a key speaker and presented on Auditing Third Party Risk – The Boards Perspective!

CIDRZ Celebrates Chawama Level 1 Hospital Refurbished Laboratory

_DSC0120

_DSC0083_DSC0041_DSC0111

24th September was an important day for CIDRZ as we celebrated the achievement of handing over the refurbished Chawama laboratory infrastructure to the government of Zambia at a colourful event attended by key Ministry and partner VIPs.

The funding for the refurbished lab was generously provided by the US government through the PEPFAR/CDC transition to local ownership HIV Integration to Local Ownership (HILO) project.

The lab is now one of the largest in the district and able to perform all required testing for new anti-retroviral (ART) program clients on-site rather than transporting specimens to another lab incurring delays in clinicians receiving important test results and clients receiving the ART care they require. CIDRZ Lab Technical Mentors will continue to assist with training and systems development until all lab personnel have the requisite skills and a steady supply of reagents so that they may take over the testing for all clients enrolled in the HIV Care and Treatment program at Chawama.

Speeches were delivered by the District Medical Officer Dr Gideon Zulu, CIDRZ CEO Dr Charles Holmes, CDC Country Director Dr Jim McAuley, and Provincial Clinical Care Specialist Dr Wajirovya Chilambo, all followed by a vote of thanks by the Chawama Nursing Officer in charge.

There was drumming, there was dancing, speeches, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a  tour of the refurbished lab.

CIDRZ Lab Hosts Ministry of Health Director of Disease Surveillance, Control and Research

_DSC0024

_DSC0033

Last Friday, 18th September, CIDRZ was honoured to host a visit from the Ministry of Health Director of Disease Surveillance, Control and Research, Dr Elizabeth Chizema. Dr Chizema and MOH Senior Research Associates, Mwiche Siame and Doris Osei Afriyie, met with CEO Dr Charles Holmes, Dr Roma Chilengi, Dr Carolyn Bolton, Obert Kachuwaire  and other key CIDRZ research and science staff as they toured the CIDRZ Central Lab in Kalingalinga and the Chainda South Clinic in Kalikiliki.The CIDRZ Central Lab tour was given by Lab Managers Mabvuto Phiri and Kaunda Kaunda, and the Chainda South Microlab tour was given by Michelo Simuyandi. This visit was the first time that CIDRZ hosted such key ministry representatives to the state-of-the-art CIDRZ Lab.