CIDRZ Receives Grant from The ELMA Foundation

CIDRZ is pleased to announce that it has received a grant from The ELMA Foundation to help support the PREEMI Programme: Preterm Resources, Education and Effective Management for Infants. PREEMI will support implementation of proven and cost-effective antenatal and postnatal care interventions aimed at reducing perinatal morbidity and mortality among preterm infants. These are: use of antenatal corticosteroids and antibiotics for women and infants; provision of effective neonatal resuscitation and proper umbilical cord care; and supporting kangaroo-mother care (breastfeeding, bonding, and skin-to-skin contact). The overall aim of the programme is to support the Zambian Ministry of Health and Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health in realizing the goals of the recently adopted Newborn Health Framework by integrating the PREEMI package into the national rollout strategy. National coverage of these interventions could reduce neonatal mortality among preterm infants by 75%.

The PREEMI programme will include improving the quality of antenatal care services, particularly for women at increased risk of preterm delivery, through community and staff education, introduction of checklists and improved clinical record keeping, mentorship in clinical protocols and risk assessment, and provision of logistical support for clinical supplies and equipment. PREEMI trained nurses will be seconded to their respective health facilities, where they will serve as ‘Change Champions’ helping to implement proven interventions, coordinate trainings, provide daily onsite mentorship to health facility staff and monitor the programme.

Albert Manasyan

Albert Manasyan

CIDRZ’s Dr Albert Manasyan will be the Principal Investigator responsible for the PREEMI Programme.

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.

Florence Schokola

Rural Voices: Having a Toilet is a Big Thing

CIDRZ, with support from UNICEF, is assisting rural communities in the Lusaka Province of Zambia to meet Millennium Development Goal 7 for improved sanitation. By coordinating a Community-Led Total Sanitation effort in Kafue and Chongwe Districts of Lusaka Province, CIDRZ is contributing to a larger goal to create “open-defecation-free zones” for 3 million people living in rural Zambia. Here are what two villagers have to say:


Catherine Chifungula

Catherine Chifungula, Community Sanitation Action Group member, in front of her newly constructed latrine

“After the Community-Led Total Sanitation sensitisation by a village champion, a lot of households in my village now understood the importance of not defecating in the bush, and decided to build toilets with simple and inexpensive tippy tap handwashing set-ups.” 56-year old, Catherine Chifungula from Kapamangoma Village in Chongwe District recalled.
Catherine, a widow with 6 children, is a Sanitation Action Group (SAG) member in her village. SAGs monitor sanitation and encourage every household to build a toilet and a tippy tap – and emphasize using soap or ash to wash hands after every time of using the toilet.

She went on to say that “some women in other villages – those that had no husbands or men in the household – used the excuse that they didn’t have anyone to dig their pit latrines. So, they continued to defecate in the open, but this is just laziness. I take pride in my toilet! When I wake in the morning I clean the toilet and make sure that there is sufficient water, and soap or ash for handwashing. My children also know to keep the toilet clean and take turns to ensure there is always water in the tippy tap.” She says this smiling with pride, secure in the knowledge that she has taught her children the importance of cleanliness and sanitation from an early age.

34-year old, Florence Scholoka is another vibrant lady within the village. A widow with 5 children, she also expressed happiness at having her own toilet. She said that after the community sensitisation – especially after the ‘behaviour-change triggering exercise’ where fresh faecal matter and food were put close to each other. “It was so easy to see the risk of eating food that flies had touched just after they had come from touching stool. It was so disgusting to imagine eating that food; it changed a lot of resistant mindsets!” she laughed.

“My toilet is different from other toilets in the village. I made sure the man who constructed it put a toilet pan and a lid. I wanted to sit comfortably even though my toilet is still outside my house,” she exclaims. “Having a toilet is a big thing! It needs to be kept clean! Some visitors don’t like to use my toilet at first because they say that it is too clean, but after I explain the importance of a clean toilet and they space around it they become happy to use it.” she adds. “They start to agree that a toilet made out of bricks is better than a ‘grass toilet’; especially in the rainy season!”

Mrs Scholoka went on to claim that there are no more diarrhoeal cases in the village as everyone now has toilets. “Before the community sensitization, and the building of the pit latrines, so many children would always be at risk of developing diarrhoea.”

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.

CIDRZ and MOH Conduct Ebola Virus Preparedness Sensitisation to Staff and Key Health Care Workers

Dr Lottie Hachaambwa joins with CIDRZ Infectious Disease specialists, Drs Holmes and Sikazwe, to update staff on Ebola virus

On Thursday 30th October, Drs Hachaambwa, Holmes and Sikazwe will update CIDRZ staff on Ebola virus infection preparedness. The presentation and accompanying resource materials will be distributed to all CIDRZ staff, including those in their provincial work stations, to share with their Ministry colleagues to ensure that all key health care workers are aware about Ebola.

Dr Lottie Hachaambwa is a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease and works closely with the Zambian Ministry of Health and Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health on various HIV and infectious-disease related issues. He sits on the Infectious Disease subcommittee of the National Epidemic Preparedness and Control Committee and has participated in Ebola Preparedness Training at W.H.O. AFRO in Congo, Brazzaville, as part of the Zambian Ebola Preparedness Team.

Dr Hachaambwa is an honorary lecturer at the University of Zambia School of Medicine teaching HIV Medicine and Infectious Disease in the MSc and MMED programmes and provides inpatient consultation at the University Teaching Hospital. He also holds a post as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

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


Help CIDRZ build a healthy Zambia

Welcome to the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, known as CIDRZ, and the outstanding work we do on behalf of the people of Zambia.

This vibrant organisation not only performs ground-breaking research to identify more effective ways to prevent and treat deadly infectious diseases in Zambia, CIDRZ is on the front-lines of providing health services to those most in need in public healthcare clinics, while training the next generation of African researchers, healthcare providers and public health leaders.

Since I joined CIDRZ as Director just over 18 months ago, we have launched a new three-year strategic plan, signed robust new Memoranda of Understanding with the Government of the Republic of Zambia, recruited outstanding new Board members, and focused intensely on strengthening our internal systems and governance controls. Our aim is for CIDRZ to be a long-term resource to Zambia, one that will create knowledge, build capacity of future health leaders and save and improve lives.

To assist us reach our vision of a Zambia in which all people have access to quality healthcare
I am excited to announce the launch of a first-ever CIDRZ Fundraising Campaign. Our goal is to raise USD 2.5 million to support our public health work so that we may continue to deliver many more years of high-quality lifesaving work as well as have the needed flexibility to act quickly on promising innovative ideas.

We ask that you join us in improving health in Zambia and the region and make a commitment to support CIDRZ. To learn more about our fundraising campaign, please click here >>>>

Signature Holmes

Charles B. Holmes, MD, MPH
Chief Executive Officer

Lighting the Way for Better Maternal Health Care

Mandombe Clinic

As part of safe motherhood practices, expectant mothers in Zambia are urged to deliver at a health facility so that they will benefit from medical care. But during the night in rural areas without electricity, midwives may have to struggle with a small flashlight torch or improvised kerosene lamp to provide the light they need to monitor labour progress or document clinical procedures.

But this is no longer a problem for Mandombe clinic, a typical poor rural health facility located in the heart of Luangwa District serving over 2000 people. The CIDRZ Better Health Outcomes through Mentoring and Assessment (BHOMA) study funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, has been implementing structured primary health care improvements in 42 rural centres in Lusaka Province. Mandombe clinic was one of the sites chosen for a 6-month long pilot. BHOMA installed solar panels so that the protocol-directed outpatient care could be implemented and clinical information captured on data servers for assessment and evaluation; part of BHOMA’s aim to improve rural clinical care.

However, after the successful 6-month pilot, the BHOMA study was required to shift out of Mandombe to focus on the other clinics. This presented a moral challenge to the CIDRZ BHOMA team: after assisting with bringing necessary light how could they pull out leaving the health facility, and its laboring patients, in the dark again?

The solution was to reroute the installed solar panels so that they fed into light bulb circuits that would continue to provide some basic lighting. Now laboring women who come to Mandombe clinic in the night find a brightly lit Out Patient Department and maternity room, and a happy midwife able to see what she is doing when she provides necessary care.

New Board Members

Ambassador Eric Goosby

20090825AmbEricGoosby_170_1Ambassador Eric Goosby is Distinguished Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. He served from 2009 to 2013 as the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator leading all U.S. Government international HIV/AIDS efforts. In this role, Ambassador Goosby oversaw implementation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), as well as U.S. Government engagement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He also led the new Office of Global Health Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State. Ambassador Goosby previously served as CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation, and was Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He has over 25 years of experience with HIV/AIDS, ranging from treating patients at San Francisco General Hospital when AIDS first emerged, to engagement at the highest level of policy leadership. As the first Director of the Ryan White Care Act at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Ambassador Goosby helped develop HIV/AIDS delivery systems in the United States. During the Clinton Administration, he served as Deputy Director of the White House National AIDS Policy Office and Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ambassador Goosby has longstanding working relationships with leading multilateral organizations including UNAIDS, the Global Fund and the World Health Organization.

Professor Kevin Marsh

Kevin Marsh 2Kevin Marsh is a Professor of Tropical Medicine University of Oxford and has been based for the last twenty five years in Kenya. Qualified in medicine at the University of Liverpool in 1978 he began his research career at the Medical Research Council Unit in the Gambia. From 1985-89, Dr Marsh was at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford and in 1989 established with colleagues a series of research projects on the clinical epidemiology and immunology of malaria on the Kenyan coast which subsequently developed into an international programme working across a number of east African countries. Dr Marsh has a particular interest in developing and strengthening research capacity and scientific leadership in Africa and has sponsored or supervised over 40 research fellows and doctoral students. He is chair of the World Health Organisation Malaria Policy Advisory Committee and sits on international advisory committees relating to malaria and to global health research. He was elected a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2004 and was awarded the Prince Mahidol prize for medicine in 2010.

Annabelle Degroot

Anna webAnnabelle is the Finance Director for the three SABMiller businesses in Zambia managing finances of a $450 million revenue group with multiple complexities. She plays an instrumental role in Strategic, Sales and Operating planning and receives reports from Internal Audit. Previously, Annabelle served for four years as CIDRZ Chief Financial Officer and was responsible for fraud management, and establishing an internal audit department among other key accomplishments. She has broad experience in international financial management and consulting. Annabelle holds a MA in Economics from Cambridge University in the U.K. and an Associate Chartered Accountant degree from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Annabelle was born in Zambia, and holds a Resident’s permit. She has resided full-time in Zambia since 2001.

Christopher Mubemba

Christopher perfect square1Christopher Mubemba is the Director of Transmission Development ZESCO Ltd, Zambia. Since 1986 Mr Mubemba has served in various senior engineering posts in Zambia ranging from the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines; within ZESCO in the Department of Electrotechnical Services, Generation and Transmission; the Department of Generation Planning and Design Engineering Development; the Department of Transmission Rehabilitation, Power Rehabilitation Project; to most recently as Project Director executing the USD 2 billion Kafue Gorge Lower Hydroelectric project on behalf of ZESCO Limited. Mr Mubemba holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, U.K. He is a Chartered Engineer of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, U.K., and a Member and Registered Engineer of the Engineering Institution of Zambia.