CIDRZ and Zambian Government Launches Protocols and Training Manuals … We want to reduce neonatal Mortality Rates in Zambia

CIDRZ Chief Executive Officer, Dr Izukanji Sikazwe with some of the children that have benefited from CIDRZ  interventions on improving neonatal care.

CIDRZ and the Ministry of Health have launched the Essential Newborn Training Manual and Newborn Protocols as the Zambian government reiterated its obligation to improving child survival in line with the global commitment and related targets.

Speaking during the official launch, Minister of Health (MoH) Hon. Dr Chitalu Chilufya, in a speech read on his behalf by MoH Permanent Secretary Health Services, Dr Jabbin Mulwanda said “it is well stated within [party] manifesto and in other policy governments that government will work with the cooperating partners and other stakeholders to better the lives of all citizens; and child health is on top of the agenda,” Dr Chilufya added.

The Minister reiterated that the Ministry “is focusing on health promotion, prevention of disease and death, as well as driving curative and rehabilitative health services…. There, the Essential Newborn Care Training Package and Newborn Protocols, when implemented, will contribute to the Ministry’s objective of ‘training and making available competent and adequate numbers of human resources for health to manage health services.”

MoH PermSec, Dr Jabbin Mulwanda, during the official launch of manuals. He was representing the Minister of Health, Dr Chitalu Chilufya.

“Support the Ministry of Health, in any way possible to celebrate every birth & save life of every mother and newborn countrywide. Together we can markedly reduce deaths,” Dr Chilufya appealed.

Speaking earlier, CIDRZ Chief Executive Officer, Dr Izukanji Sikazwe said “for most people, pregnancy and birth is a joyous life event. Sadly, however, many families suffer a pregnancy-related bereavement. To learn that a newborn baby is unwell and is not going to survive must be one of the most harrowing situations imaginable for any parent.”

Dr Sikazwe reiterated CIDRZ commitment to working with the government through the Ministry of Health “in the fight towards the reduction of neonatal mortality through training, capacity building, and provision of medical supplies as we begin the scale-up of these guidelines in Lusaka, Rufunsa and Luangwa Districts.”

“The guidelines being launched today are designed to provide our colleagues with the skills required to reduce neonatal mortality either due to birth asphyxia, neonatal sepsis, preterm birth, or hypothermia. With the launch of these guidelines, it is my plea and hope, to our fellow partners, but most importantly to our Frontline Workers, our healthcare providers, to help us witness a 10-fold reduction in neonatal mortality in the near future,” Dr Sikazwe added.

Some of the participants during the official launch of the protocols and training manuals.

Currently, Zambia’s under-five and infant mortality rates stand at 75 per 1000 live births and 45 per 1,000 live births respectively, while neonatal mortality rate is estimated at 24 per 1,000 live births as of 2014. Zambia’s target is to reduce the neonatal mortality rate to less than 12 per 1,000 live births by 2021.

Mr Emmanuel Appiah Qua-Enoo joins CIDRZ as Deputy CEO

Mr Emmanuel Qua-Enoo, CIDRZ DCEO

CIDRZ CEO Dr Izukanji Sikazwe is pleased to welcome Mr Emmanuel Appiah Qua-Enoo as he joins CIDRZ as Deputy Chief Executive Officer.

I am delighted to welcome Mr Qua-Enoo to CIDRZ. His experience in financial compliance, strategic planning, business development, and organisational and stakeholder relationship management brings a key skill to our CIDRZ leadership. He will play a major role as CIDRZ continues to grow and flourish as a permanent, independent, indigenous organisation serving the health and research needs of Zambia.” said Dr Sikazwe.

Originally from Ghana, Mr Qua-Enoo is a Chartered Accountant and a registered member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. He holds two Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) Degrees, in Accountancy, and Accountancy and Finance, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a Master’s of Commerce Degree in International Taxation from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He is also an alumnus of the United States Venture Capital Institute.

Mr Qua-Enoo has worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in their Johannesburg Practice where he specialised in Financial Services and Management of Internationally Funded Institutions. During his career, he has also consulted for numerous international donors and their recipients across Africa and has a broad understanding of U.S. government regulations governing their foreign assistance programmes. While working at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of the Regional Inspector General in Pretoria, South Africa he was responsible for the management of all Non-Federal Audits in Eastern and Southern Africa, covering 21 countries. He has also served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Southern Africa Enterprise Development Fund, a USAID sponsored Private Equity and Venture Capital Fund that invested in Southern Africa.

After an extensive search the CIDRZ Board of Directors Recruitment Committee selected Mr Qua-Enoo, who had previously served CIDRZ as a short-term consultant strengthening our financial and reporting systems compliance with CIDRZ policies, donors, and prevailing law.


CIDRZ Central Laboratory Launches the Largest Solar Plant in Zambia

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Dr Jabbin Mulwanda cuts the ribbon at the Official Opening of the solar plant at the CIDRZ Central Laboratory with CIDRZ Board Chairperson Mr Bradford Machila

Today, with generous support from the U.S. National Institutes Health through the University of Alabama at Birmingham, CIDRZ officially opened an 83.2 kW capacity solar plant at its Central Laboratory at the Kalingalinga Health Centre in Lusaka.

Speaking at the event, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Dr Jabbin Mulwanda commended CIDRZ for the initiative. “What CIDRZ has done exemplifies the importance of collaboration between non-state actors and government. Knowing what Zambia has experienced recently in terms of power deficits, this solar plant guarantees continued quality laboratory services to Zambians in the public health sector. This is a big achievement not only for CIDRZ and the Ministry of Health but for everyone. Thank you CIDRZ and your sponsors for the laboratory services you have provided to the country over the years. Whenever I think about CIDRZ I think of quality.”

Minister of Health, Honourable Dr Chitalu Chilufya (MP) also commended CIDRZ for its continued partnership with his Ministry to ensure quality health services are delivered as close to the people as possible, as well as for going green. “We see here today the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Energy cooperating to attain a milestone achievement. We must create and leave a legacy. We must be committed to the preservation of the planet, and we must be committed to reducing the effects of climate change that is causing so much suffering to people the world over. Through the installation of this solar plant, a clean, reliable and cost-effective source of energy, CIDRZ has not only complemented Government’s efforts towards the provision of uninterrupted laboratory services, but also its commitment to renewable energy.”

Acting Director in the Ministry of Energy, Mr Arnold Simwaba added, “this solar plant will significantly help to reduce overload on the national grid. Our Ministry and the government encourages businesses and private individuals to emulate what CIDRZ has done and use alternative sources of abundant energy such as solar.”

CIDRZ Board Chairperson, Mr Bradford Machila, who attended the event with other Board Directors explained that CIDRZ was compelled to act due to the load shedding that had characterised the country’s energy sector. “In mid-2015, our Central Lab started experiencing 8 hours of power load-shedding every 24 hours causing a great challenge. Biomedical laboratory testing is a precise activity: temperature sensitive specimens require refrigeration or air conditioning to maintain sample quality, and sophisticated laboratory instruments and complex testing regimens require uninterrupted power to assure reliable results to healthcare providers and their patients.”

Currently, CIDRZ supports 84 government health facilities within Lusaka province with HIV viral load testing and early infant HIV diagnostics, the Central Lab conducts more than 2000 tests on a daily basis.


CIDRZ Awarded Stop TB Partnership TB REACH Grant


The implementation science project, Achieving TB Control in Zambia through Scale-up of Innovative Diagnostic Tools and Proven Active TB Case-Finding Interventions, will conduct systematic health facility and community-based case-finding interventions complemented by highly-sensitive screening and diagnostic tools to initiate a sustained increase in TB case detection in high-burden settings. The project will be implemented in collaboration with the Zambian Ministry of Health and the National Tuberculosis Programme.

Zambia is among the thirty highest TB burden countries globally but has low TB case detection of 58%. Promising diagnostic tools such as Xpert MTB/Rif have shown a limited impact on TB treatment outcomes when placed in health facilities because health system and patient-level barriers to accessing screening services are not addressed. To reach the desired TB detection and treatment impact, placement of highly-sensitive tools must be accompanied with interventions that allow maximal patient access to screening, diagnostic, and treatment services closer to home. This project will target ‘high-risk for TB’ Lusaka peri-urban dwellers in George compound through community awareness raising activities in combination with community and facility-level active TB case-finding and proven screening procedures.

The project is expected to:

  • increase community awareness resulting in increased demand for TB screening
  • increase knowledge about TB/HIV among healthcare workers
  • increase TB screening in all health facility departments with use of exit screening and cough monitors
  • reduce time to TB diagnosis
  • strengthen contact tracing through use of a combination of screening algorithms to ensure that only high-risk patients get a definitive TB diagnostic test. Use of highly sensitive screening and diagnostic tools at the community level will allow maximal access to TB diagnosis.

The Achieving TB Control in Zambia through Scale-Up of Innovative Diagnostic Tools and Proven Active TB Case-Finding Interventions project is supported by the Stop TB Partnership’s TB REACH initiative and is funded by the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Principal Investigator is Dr Monde Muyoyeta MBChB, PhD, Director of CIDRZ TB Programmes.

CIDRZ 2017-18 HealthCorps Fellows

2017 – 2018 CIDRZ HealthCorps Fellows

Belinda Chihota, MSc-Control of Infectious Diseases (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK)

Belinda is from Zimbabwe and has worked with Doctors of the World U.K., the Medical Research Council Uganda Virus Research Institute, and the Zimbabwean Biomedical Research and Training Institute. She will be attached to the International Epidemiological Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) study group working on HIV/Hepatitis B co-infection research.

Dr Neha Buddhdev, MD, MSc-Immunology and Global Health (University of Ireland)

Neha is from Kenya and has worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Directorate-Kenya studying Flavivirus epidemiology. She will be attached to the CIDRZ Enteric Disease and Vaccines Research group and will contribute to our epidemiological studies assessing the burden of enteric pathogens in Lusaka to assist in the design of future vaccines and therapeutics clinical trials.

Marrit Habets, MSc-Microbiology/Immunology (University of Groningen, Netherlands)

Marrit is from the Netherlands and has conducted post-doctoral research on the immune recognition and clearance of Streptococcus pneumonia at the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen (the Netherlands). In addition, she has worked as a laboratory consultant at the Makerere University-Walter Reed Project in Kampala (Uganda) and at the University of the West Indies in Kingston (Jamaica). She will be attached to the CIDRZ Laboratory.

Michelle Eglovitch, MPH-Maternal and Child Health (Boston University, USA)

Michelle is from the USA and has worked as a Research Assistant for the Pregnancy Health Interview Study at Boston University School of Public Health, and as a Program Analyst for Women’s and Infant Health at the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs. She will be attached to the PMTCT Programme.

Jill Kadota, MPH-Epidemiology and Biostatistics (University of California, Berkeley USA)

Jill is from the USA and has performed data analysis for a randomized trial amongst people living with HIV in Shinyanga, Tanzania. She will be attached to the Analysis Unit.

University of Alabama at Birmingham Sparkman Center for Global Health  – supported CIDRZ HealthCorps Fellows 

Mbaita Shawa, MPH – Global Health (Simon Fraser University, Canada)

Mbaita is from Zambia and has previously worked at the Zambia Center for Applied Health Research and Development (ZCAHRD) on an Early Childhood Development project. She will be attached to our Qualitative Research team.

Dr Chileshe Mabula, MBChB (University of Zambia)

Chileshe is from Zambia and also holds a BA in Human Development from the University of California, San Diego. She has implemented a successful intervention for adolescents living with HIV in Eastern Province, Zambia, and has worked as a Medical Officer in Chipata where she developed a keen interest in improving patient engagement and access to care.  She will be attached to the Clinical Trials Team.

Learn more about our partner The UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health here

CIDRZ is also a host site for Global HealthCorps Fellows

Belia L. Ng’andwe, BA-Development Studies (University of Zambia)

Belia is from Zambia and has worked as Assistant Program Coordinator for Restless Development Zambia responsible for managing/ mentoring interns and volunteer peer educators who implemented project activities on the ground. Belia was behind Restless Development’s ‘Girls Like Us’ project focusing on reducing girls’ vulnerability and sexual reproductive health risks by empowering them with skills to contribute to household income. She will be attached to the Paediatric HIV Department.

Meave Otieno, MSc – Public Health Microbiology (George Washington University Milken Institute of Public Health, USA)

Meave is from Kenya and the USA.  She was a Peace Corps volunteer working as a Health Extension Agent in Togo; has done a practicum with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation working on research study protocol development; and assisted with data management in a palliative care study of people living with HIV/AIDS while a research trainee at the Children’s National Medical Center. She will be attached to the CIDRZ TB Department.

Fogarty International Center and Office of AIDS Research, NIH Global Health Equity Scholars Consortium, Yale University Research Fellow

Shilpa Iyer, MSc (Pune University, India), PhD (University of Pennsylvania, USA)

Dr Shilpa has conducted post-doctoral research at the prestigious Dr Beatrice Hahn Research Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania. While at CIDRZ she will conduct an acute HIV-1 infection point-of-care testing study. She will be supervised by Professor Dr Sten Vermund, Dean of the Yale University School of Public Health and Dr Izukanji Sikazwe.

CIDRZ Launches New Implementation Science Directorate

CIDRZ is pleased to announce the launch of a new Directorate of Implementation Science. The U.S. National Institutes of Health defines implementation science (also referred to as implementation research) as “the study of methods to promote the integration of research findings and evidence into healthcare policy and practice. …It seeks to understand the behaviour of healthcare professionals and other stakeholders as a key variable in the sustainable uptake, adoption, and implementation of evidence-based interventions, …and has the intent to investigate and address major bottlenecks that impede effective implementation, test new approaches to improve health programming, and determine a causal relationship between the intervention and its impact”.

Dr Michael Herce, MD, MPH, MSc (Clinical Research & Epidemiology) will lead this new Directorate. Dr Herce is a US-trained infectious disease specialist, with close to 10 years of experience in HIV and global health programming and clinical and implementation science. Dr Herce worked in Malawi with Partners in Health from 2009 to 2012 and has worked in Zambia with CIDRZ since 2014. 

In Malawi, Dr Herce worked with the Ministry of Health to scale-up Option B+ in Lilongwe and surrounding districts and was instrumental in helping develop the National Tuberculosis Program’s national roll-out strategy for the Xpert MTB/Rif TB diagnostic tool. Embedding implementation science into these and other programs, he and his colleagues demonstrated that excellent clinical and public health outcomes could be achieved for HIV and other diseases even in the most challenging settings by leveraging existing HIV service delivery platforms, investing in health systems strengthening and using data to drive programmatic innovation.

While at CIDRZ, Dr Herce has worked closely with TB Director Dr Monde Muyoyeta and TB Senior Technical Advisor Dr Stewart Reid to grow implementation science HIV/TB activities in the Zambian Corrections Service system while serving as the Principal Investigator of the Continuum study, and Investigator of Record for the TasP study. He also leads the EmpiriX implementation science study examining the effects of the Xpert TB diagnostic tool on health outcomes for HIV-positive presumptive TB patients compared to standard-of-care TB diagnosis.

The new directorate will work closely with other technical directorates to coordinate the CIDRZ-wide implementation science agenda, build our implementation research capacity, and help CIDRZ to fulfil our mission of improving access to quality healthcare in Zambia through capacity development, exceptional implementation research, and impactful, sustainable public health programmes.

Photo from left: CEO Dr Izukanji Sikazwe, Director of Implementation Science Dr Michael Herce, and Chief Scientific Officer Dr Roma Chilengi


CIDRZ at National Labour Day 2017


Every year Zambia celebrates Labour Day with a march past His Excellency the President and an opportunity to decorate a float to display an organisation activities and contribution to the nation. 2017 was no exception and this year CIDRZ took part in style! Over thirty staff members volunteered to march, and our float displayed our healthcare programme and training activities to improve health in Zambia through providing Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision, Cervical Cancer Screening, Preterm Resources, Education and Effective Management of Infants (PREEMI), TB programming to strengthen health systems in Zambia Correctional Services, and HIV Care and Treatment to help Zambia reach the UNAIDS 90:90:90 treatment targets.  Think CIDRZ for a healthy Zambia!

CIDRZ facilitates National ARV Logistic Systems Training

CIDRZ, with the support from the US Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnership, is conducting a National ARV Logistics System Workshop to prepare health centre, hospital, District Health Management Teams, and Provincial staff to use the Standard Operating Procedures Manual for the Management of the National ARV Logistics System, and the job aids, to perform tasks necessary to successfully manage the Antiretroviral (ART) drugs logistics system.
During the official opening of the workshop, Chongwe District Health Director, Dr. Charles Msiska, emphasised the need for health workers to “give patients comprehensive care, don’t just see them as an HIV patient or look at numbers.”
The trainers guide being used was prepared as part of the U.S. funded DELIVER Technical Assistance support to the Ministry of Health and aims at strengthening logistics management of ARV drugs. DELIVER, is a six-year worldwide technical assistance support contract funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and PEPFAR.

Training Health Staff to Implement Differentiated Ways to Provide ART

With support from the U.S. Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and CDC partnership, CIDRZ is conducting a Training of Trainers workshop on how to implement a differentiated care model for people on Antiretroviral Treatment (ART).

The training is aimed at preparing the community outreach teams to roll out the implementation of the Community Adherence Groups (CAGs) and the Urban Adherence Groups (UAGs) following the approval by the Ministry of Health to roll out differentiated care models.

With this model, clinically stable patients who have been on ART for a minimum of six months, can form a group of six members. The members of these groups in turn select one person per month to go and collect ARV’s on their behalf. This means that each member of the group is expected to visit the clinic twice a year – to collect drugs for their colleagues – but also to fulfil their clinical appointments as well.

This model will help reduce congestion in clinics, and give time for other members of the group to engage in other activities. With this model, we expect more retention of stable clients on ART as well as reduction in the workload for the existing health workers in healthy facilities.

This type of differentiated care programming will help Zambia to achieve the UNAIDS 90:90:90 treatment targets.

CIDRZ – SHARE LSHTM Support UNZA Civil Engineering WASH Research

CIDRZ through the LSHTM – SHARE Consortium recently awarded research grants to Changwe Mafuta and Simapimbi Munaye, both 5th year University of Zambia (UNZA) School of Engineering Scholars to finish their research on sanitation engineering projects that will benefit Zambia.

CIDRZ and the Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity (SHARE) Consortium of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) collaborated on the Creating Demand for Sanitation (SanDem) project with funding from the UK Department for International Development. It is through this project that CIDRZ was pleased to award 2000 British Pounds Sterling each to deserving UNZA Civil Engineering students Mr Changwe Mafuta and Mr Samapimbi Munaye. The research projects of these two gentlemen rose about the others in their specific aim to address local sanitation challenges from an engineering perspective. These grants will support the completion of these student’s research project work. Funding was made available by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
Mr Mafuta’s project is titled “Developing a lever, eco-sanitary toilet that does not use water to fush faecal matter, and use solar energy to treat waste, while Mr Munaye’s project is “Improving sanitation through recycling of plastic solid waste materials.”

Attending the event on behalf of CIDRZ – which was part of the University of Zambia 2016 Academic Year prize giving ceremony – was Chief Scientific Officer Dr Roma Chilengi, Director of Human Resources, Roselyne Raelly and Coordinator of the CIDRZ SanDem project, Joyce Chinyama Chilekwa. The Vice Chancellor of UNZA, Dr Luke Evuta Mumba, officiated the event and wanted to recognize and appreciate all stakeholders in the engineering training. “This country cannot develop without a sound engineering desk,” he emphasized.