CIDRZ holds research symposium

CIDRZ CEO Dr Izukanji Sikazwe

Since inception, CIDRZ has been committed to answering research questions relevant to improving health in Zambia. The work, ranging from pharmacokinetic, behavioural studies, individual and cluster-randomized trials to large multi-country programme evaluations, aims at identifying locally-relevant, culturally-acceptable, resource-appropriate, evidence-based interventions that will influence policy and thus raise healthcare service delivery in the public health sector.

CIDRZ research teams are supported by a research and regulatory infrastructure with dedicated staff skilled in regulatory affairs, human subjects protections, Good Clinical Practices, quality control and assurance, data management, analysis, and research pharmacy and laboratory. The findings are disseminated at local, regional and international meetings after sharing with the Ministry of Health.

CIDRZ Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Roma Chilengi

In all its work CIDRZ strives to contribute to the Zambian healthcare system through innovation in programming and as part of achieving the above, a one-day scientific symposium centred around diversifying research funding was held on the 6th of November 2017.

The symposium brought together CIDRZ researchers, Principal Investigators (PIs) and Board members to showcase current CIDRZ research activities and see how best to build a vibrant research practice at CIDRZ.

CIDRZ Grants and Contracts Consultant, Jill Morse said

“a more targeted strategy for financial diversification among our grants will be developed, department-level business plans will be created to identify key types and potential areas for funding, and business development at the departmental level will be tied to key strategic plan targets for revenue concentration”.

CIDRZ Head of Community, Musonda Musonda, talking about the adolescent programme during the symposium

CIDRZ Chief Scientific Officer Dr Roma Chilengi said CIDRZ had a lot of opportunities in its training programs.

“Our HealthCorps Fellowship program has produced critical -thinking scholars in the areas of clinical trials, implementation science, health systems strengthening, laboratory science, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis and Enteric Disease, Non-Communicable Diseases, Women’s cancer control, Reproductive & Maternal Health, Newborn & Child Health, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene and data analysis.

The quality of fellows we produce at CIDRZ could contribute immensely to research work in the organisation. And being the largest healthcare related non-governmental organisation in Zambia, our laboratory would compete favorably in sub-Sahara Africa”.

CIDRZ Board Member, Dr Mike Saag of UAB during the Symposium

Some of the research presentations included:

  • Hepatitis B by Dr Michael Vinikoor, which looked at the growing global recognition of Hepatitis B by stakeholders and what CIDRZ has accomplished around HBV since 2003. CIDRZ work in this area has the potential to make the organisation the leading African implementer of HBV research and programmes.
  • Factors associated with Rotavirus vaccine failure in Zambiainfantsts by CIDRZ PhD candidates, Michelo Simuyandi, Natasha Labana and Katayi Kazimbaya.
  • The aetiology of diarrheoa among Zambia infants presenting with moderate and severe diarrhoea in Zambian health facilities byCarol Chisenga, John Mwaba and Neha Buddhdev.

Deputy Director Health Systems Strengthening and Primary Care, Cheryl Rudd-Mallaghan presenting on Finding Efficiencies in Zambia’s Immunisation Supply Chain

Other presentations were on studies and programs: Better Information for Health in Zambia; Community ART for Retention in Zambia; ART Readiness in HIV-infected Pregnant Women; Finding Efficiencies in Zambia’s Immunisation Supply Chain;  and Reaching At-Risk Adolescents through Facility-Based Youth-Friendly Services.

And CIDRZ Board Member, Mr. Charles Mpundu, said “listening to the different presentations gives an idea of not only the skill-set CIDRZ has, but also the amount of work and dedication that goes into the various programs.

The insights the Board Members have received here today would not have any impact had we just read about it. Given the amount of work done, there is need to package the information in a simplified way for more people to understand and eventually attract more financial support.”

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