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.”

Mr Polepole Pascal is the 2014 Recipient of the Moses Sinkala Memorial Award

Congratulations to Mr Polepole Pascal (centre top photo) a Master of Science Pathology student at the University of Zambia (UNZA) School of Medicine. He is the first awardee of the Moses Sinkala Memorial Zambia Endowed Award

L to R: Mrs Janet Sinkala, Mr Polepole Pascal, Dr Craig Wilson Director UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health

L to R: Mrs Janet Sinkala, Mr Polepole Pascal, Dr Craig Wilson Director UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health


One of the founding fathers of CIDRZ was Dr Moses Sinkala, then Director of the Lusaka Urban District Health Management Team. Sadly Dr Sinkala passed away far too soon, but his friends and colleagues at the UNZA School of Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Sparkman Center for Global Health wanted to honour his memory and recognize the extraordinary work that Dr Sinkala did to improve public health in Zambia. They have created the Moses Sinkala Memorial Zambia Endowed Award in his memory. This competitive award is available to any post graduate student in the UNZA SOM, and is decided by committee based on research that serves the public health needs of Zambia.

CIDRZ Launches Fundraising Campaign

Partnership with Accordia Global Health Foundation

The Accordia Global Health Foundation is an organisation dedicated to building Africa’s permanent capacity for health leadership and innovation through the establishment and support of Sustainable African Health Institutions. Accordia has partnered with CIDRZ to assist our fundraising campaign. Accordia will retain a small portion of all gifts to support advocacy and technical assistance for its network of Sustainable African Health Institutions, of which CIDRZ is an active member.

Your donation to CIDRZ may be made at the following secure website:

Accordia Global Health Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. Gifts are deductible to the full extent allowable under IRS regulations.

Learn more about our fundraising campaign to help CIDRZ build a healthy Zambia >>>>>> CIDRZ Fundraising Campaign PDF

Community COMPACT Volunteers Increase Demand for Medical Male Circumcision

They think that Lozi men cannot get circumcised because it is not part of our tradition. But we have come to show them that we are not scared to be circumcised” explains Likonge Mwila a resident of Lifuna Village in Kalabo one of the 33 zones under the Community Compact project in Western Province, Zambia. In March this year, Likonge and over 300 other men from Lifuna and surrounding zones were circumcised at Lifuna Primary School as part of a mass campaign and sensitization drive for medical male circumcision (MC) by Community Compact volunteers.

The staff at Yuka Mission Hospital ensured that the rooms at Lifuna Primary School were sterilized so that the MC procedure could be safely performed.

Medical MC is promoted as an integral part of HIV prevention for men as it reduces the risk of heterosexually-acquired HIV infection by approximately 60 percent. MC also lowers the risk of getting other sexually transmitted infections, penile cancer, and infant urinary tract infection. When a man is circumcised, he also reduces the risk of his female partner getting cancer of the cervix through prevention of transmission of the Human Papilloma Virus.

Community COMPACT – a PEPFAR/CDC-funded programme led by CIDRZ – is in a unique position to increase the coverage and quality of MC because of its strong links with the community, and its credibility, infrastructure and networks. COMPACT volunteers come from within the communities that they serve; they are recognized sources of information on HIV prevention, care and treatment.

Noting that each community is different and intervention strategies must be customized to meet local needs COMPACT volunteers pay careful attention to the values and norms of a community where adolescent boys and men are not usually circumcised. Despite this potential obstacle, COMPACT volunteers were able to effectively convey the importance of medical MC as a method of HIV prevention for men.

Along with mass campaigns, COMPACT volunteers continue to emphasize the importance of medical MC during general sensitization activities. In a community where the majority of men have little or no contact with health services, the programme has had a positive effect on the uptake of services. “We are seeing a lot more men now,” says Yuka Mission Hospital MC Coordinator, Mr. Siyanga. “95 percent of the men who come for MC say they have been sensitized and referred by a CIDRZ COMPACT volunteer. This is a big improvement.”

During this March 2014 campaign, COMPACT volunteers worked with the Ministry of Health, Churches Health Association of Zambia and JHPIEGO, and received support from the District Commissioner of Kalabo, Mrs. Masela Chinyama.

CIDRZ Deputy CEO, Dr Izukanji Sikazwe, member of the Vanderbilt Institute of Research Development and Ethics (VIRDE) Class of 2014

Dr Izukanji Sikazwe: front row, third from left

Dr Izukanji Sikazwe: front row, third from left

This past September 2014, CIDRZ Deputy CEO Dr Zuzu Sikazwe was one of twelve senior medical and public health professionals from Ghana and Zambia who attended the Vanderbilt Institute of Research Development and Ethics (VIRDE) hosted by Vanderbilt University in the U.S. under the direction of Professor Dr Sten Vermund.

The one-month long course provided intensive training in research development and productivity intended to further develop the necessary skills to conduct responsible human subjects research. Each trainee was matched with a Faculty Mentor who shepherded them through the grant development process leading to preparation of a grant proposal ready for submission. Dr Sikazwe also completed coursework in research ethics and research integrity taught by the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society.

Dr Holmes: JICA Collaboration Boosts Life-Saving Childhood Vaccine Access

Dr Charles Holmes, CIDRZ CEO, addresses dignitaries including Honourable Minister of Community Development Mother and Child Health and Japanese Ambassador at the JICA Handover Ceremony of Solar Vaccine Refrigerators, Lusaka, 15th October 2014

“It is a great privilege to be here representing CIDRZ – the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia – to witness and celebrate a momentous occasion as the Government of the Republic of Zambia accepts the handover of solar refrigerators from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA. These refrigerators will provide the vaccine cold chain storage that will enable life-saving vaccines to be available at rural health facilities.

JICA Solar Fridge HandoverFar right: CIDRZ CEO Dr Charles Holmes congratulating JICA at handover ceremony for Solar Vaccine Refrigerators. Present:  Japanese Ambassador Mr. Kiyoshi Koinuma, JICA Country Rep. Mr. Yoshihide Teranishi, Hon. Minister of Community Development Mother and Child Health, Mrs Emerine Kabanshi, Hon. Deputy Minister, Ingrid Mpande, UNICEF Rep. Mr. Hamid El-Bashir Ibrahim, Lusaka District Medical Officer Dr Masumba Masaninga, Child Health Unit Directors and Provincial Health Officers

Worldwide, there is focus on the importance of delivering life-saving vaccines to all children. In May of 2011 Bill Gates, Co-Chair and Trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, addressed the World Health Assembly with an aggressive call-to-action to seize the opportunity of what he calls the “Decade of Vaccines.” Mr Gates described how achieving a few basic goals: eradication of polio,   building capable systems to deliver vaccines to every child, and making new vaccines available to all children around the world, “can save 4 million lives by 2015 and 10 million lives by 2020.”

The Government of the Republic of Zambia is also focused on introducing new vaccines into their routine immunisation programme, as well as to strengthen the national Expanded Programme on Immunisations. At a speech delivered in Livingstone this June, Honourable Minister of Community Development Mother and Child Health, Emerine Kabanshi said, “I am proud to inform you that we have recently introduced three life-saving infant vaccines to our national immunisation programme: pneumococcal vaccine, second dose measles vaccine, and the rotavirus vaccine. To achieve such an expansion of a national programme in a single year is a great achievement and we are now working hard, and allocating appropriate resources, to ensure that no Zambian child dies from preventable diseases by ensuring that the required cold chain infrastructure is in place, vaccines are ordered on time, and access is guaranteed – especially for the hard-to-reach families who invariably are at greatest risk.”

Ladies and gentlemen, CIDRZ is pleased to be a part of this celebration today.  Four years ago, we set out on a mission to contribute to the reduction in Zambian child deaths through a targeted preventive and control effort against diarrhoea. We worked with the Government to start the Programme for the Awareness and Elimination of Diarrhoea- a pilot demonstration project working through the Government to promote community awareness, to teach improved case management of diarrhoea in health facilities, and to introduce the rotavirus vaccine into the national immunisation programme. This work has been successful on many counts, and there is no doubt that hundreds of diarrhoea cases have been prevented. However these achievements were not done alone; they required strong commitment, collaboration and partnership across all sectors and stakeholders working in this area.

CIDRZ has been working alongside Government, JICA, UNICEF, W.H.O. and other key partners to mobilise resources, and to develop and implement plans to strengthen all aspects of the vaccine cold chain system—including embarking on a national Effective Vaccine Management assessment to look at storage capacity, temperature monitoring, buildings and equipment, maintenance, stock control, distribution and overall vaccine management.

But today, we are celebrating an achievement of an even greater initiative that also could not be done alone. I cannot emphasise enough the benefit that can take place when we work as a true unit. I urge everyone to emulate the model that the Zambian Government and its partners are demonstrating here today – a truly collaborative effort – Governments, donors, non-profits, international organisations, the private sector, academia, civil society and communities.

Minister Kabanshi, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, today JICA delivers to the country solar refrigerators to further bring a dream to fruition that every Zambian child will have access to life-saving vaccines. Thank you to JICA and to all who have helped in this important collaboration. It is important for us to identify what this celebration today is really all about—the children—the Zambian children who will gain access to vaccines and whose lives will be spared. We are eager to begin seeing the benefits and health impacts of this access to vaccines in our communities. Let us mark this day as an important step towards achieving this goal.

I thank you.

Dr. Charles B. Holmes, MD, MPH


CIDRZ Celebrates 1 Million New Sanitation Users in Kafue District!

On 24th July a celebration was held in Kafue’s Mupapa Village in Malundu Ward to celebrate the achievement of 1 million new sanitation users in Kafue District! Honourable Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing, Nicholas Banda, presented a certificate of Open Defecation Free (ODF) status to Headman Shakatwa of Mupapa Village. At the event, 15-year old Catherine Isam expressed her joy at finally having a latrine that provided privacy, and how shameful it was before when she and members of her household practiced open defecation. She encouraged other villages to emulate Mupapa’s achievement.

Mupapa Village Headman (3)

Mupapa Village Headman Shakwata receiving ODF certificate from Deputy Minister Banda – attached
Villagers such as Josephine Aisam and her family constructed a latrine and an effective and easy-to-use soap and water dispenser.

This milestone event is part of the Zambian Ministry of Local Government and Housing, UKAID, UNICEF, WaterAid Zambia and Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia support for the 3 Million People Sanitation Programme that is promoting improvement in community-wide sanitation in rural Zambia. This Community-Led Total Sanitation approach provides awareness to promote the end of open defecation through the action of the community members constructing latrines and handwashing stations supplied with soap or ash to use before eating and after using the toilet. After appropriate sensitisation, the community itself must truly take the lead in this accomplishment to attain Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) status in order to reduce diarrhoeal disease and improve general well-being of the community.

Mupapa is a small village with 22 households and a population of 231. The effort towards attaining Open Defecation Free (ODF) status was triggered by a community champion in August 2013; the village claimed to be ODF by November 2013; and this was verified in March 2014. Community members were ecstatic to be recognized as a model village and chosen to host the celebrations. It was also an honour for CIDRZ as Mupapa Village is under CIDRZ’s coordination and care.

CIDRZ Awarded Grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

CIDRZ has been awarded a USD 4.76 million Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant in support of the Better Information for Health in Zambia study. Dr Charles Holmes, CIDRZ Chief Executive Officer and Dr Elvin Geng of the University of California – San Francisco are the overall co-Principal Investigators (PIs), Dr Izukanji Sikazwe, CIDRZ Deputy CEO is the lead local PI, and the study team includes multiple Zambian and other co-investigators.


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 (LTFU). 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 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.

In addition to both Zambian and International research regulatory oversight, the ‘BetterInfo’ study will also be guided by a Zambian and International Advisory Committee of health and HIV experts comprising Dr Carol Phiri, Dr Peter Mwaba, and Dr Albert Mwango of the Government of the Republic of Zambia; Dr Jonas Mwale of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Zambia; Dr Virginia Bond of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Dr David Bangsberg of the Harvard School of Public Health; and Dr Bruce Agins Medical Director of the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute.

‘BetterInfo’ represents collaboration between multiple investigators from CIDRZ, the University of California – San Francisco, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

An integral component of the ‘BetterInfo’ study will be an in-depth process evaluation to enable the investigators to identify and understand the best implementation methods, and the resources required for implementation, so that the Ministry or other interested partners could repeat the exercise in a different setting, if desired. As per Gates Foundation grant requirements, ‘BetterInfo’ study results will be shared with the communities involved, the Government of Zambia, and other key stakeholders, as well as be provided as part of the Global Access Commitment.

Screen-and-Treat Cervical Cancer Prevention Programmes in Resource–Constrained Environments: A Manual for Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, and Managers

Cancer is the world’s leading cause of death, and among women in Africa cervical cancer is the most common malignancy and has the highest rate of cancer-related deaths.

With the support of the U.S. President’s Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, local governments and other international partnerships, the CIDRZ African Centre of Excellence for Women’s Cancer Control (ACEWCC) has developed a successful and effective programme to rapidly scale-up access to cervical cancer detection and treatment in Zambia, and within Africa.

The ACEWCC has designed this training manual to help healthcare providers develop and manage cervical cancer prevention programmes in their resource-constrained settings. Over 300 images accompany easy-to-read, comprehensive text covering cervical cancer epidemiology, clinical procedures and programme management.

The manual is accompanied by an eLearning course and interested trainees are encouraged to obtain clinical skills during a practicum at the ACEWCC in Lusaka, Zambia, as only qualified providers with practical training should offer clinical care. More information about the Training Manual, the eLearning course, and practicums can be found at the CIDRZ African Centre of Excellence for Women’s Cancer Control website