Highlights of June 2018 CCGHR Team Meetings in Zambia

It was an active 17 days between June 13 and 29th, when members of the Zambia-Canada Research Partnership (ZCRP) conducted a series of meetings and discussions, in both Mongu and Lusaka, Zambia. Here are some highlights:

  • In Lusaka (prior to the visit to Western Province), Vic and Jennifer Liu met with Andrew Silumesii (National Director of Public Health and Research), Godfrey Biemba (Executive Director, National Health Research Authority) and also with Fastone Goma (now Professor Goma!) and his team in the Centre for Primary Care Research at the University of Zambia (UNZA).
  • Chris Thomas and Dónall Cross (Aberystwyth, Wales) along with Tom Willis (Leeds, UK) reported on achievements of the UK-funded “FLOODMAL” project (to determine malaria vector “hot spots” in the Barotse floodplain). The FLOODMAL team and ZEP stakeholders discussed potential proposals regarding access to health service challenges in the Barotse floodplain, drawing upon data now available from the FLOODMAL project. Tom Willis worked closely with partners from the Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA) to examine hydrology and bathymetry data. 
  • Zambezi EcoHealth Partnership members engaged in many discussions regarding strengthening of research capacity throughout Western Province, particularly through the Western Province Health Office (WPHO). Under the leadership of Dr.’s Sakala and Liywalii, the WPHO has established an active research committee, currently the only active provincial research committee throughout Zambia.
  • Craig Janes met with Douglas Singini (Limulunga District Health Director) who will be starting his PhD studies in September at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Singini is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship through the University of Waterloo School of Public Health and Health Systems and the Water Institute.
  • CCGHR members were introduced to the new Acting Vice Chancellor at the University of Barotseland, Dr. Mwanawina.
  • There was a meeting of the Zambezi EcoHealth Partnership (ZEP) steering committee with representatives of the WPHO, UBL, WARMA and the CCGHR. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) for ZEP is awaiting approval from the Zambian Ministry of Health.
  • In Lusaka, Alex, Vic, Jennifer, and Lesley met with Fastone Goma and Alice Hazemba to discuss the ongoing revitalization of the Zambia Forum for Health Research (ZamFOHR). These discussions carried on during a “ZamCan” meeting the following day where the group agreed that ZamFOHR should focus on: knowledge translation capacity building and mentorship of young leaders. Research to action groups (RAGs) will be revitalized with the inclusion of young or novice researchers and CCGHR partners.
  • CCGHR members took part in a “ZamCan” meeting, facilitated by Fastone Goma and Vic Neufeld. The group discussed how to strengthen communication and relationships between ZamCan partners and how to continue to work together.
  • James Chirombo (Dignitas, Malawi) joined CCGHR members in Lusaka for discussions around climate change and possible partnerships between the Zambezi EcoHealth Partnership and Dignitas. There are many similarities and overlaps in interest and work, stakeholders from each group will continue to explore opportunities for possible partnership in the future.
  • Vic, Alex, and Lesley met with Victor Mukonka (Director, Zambia National Public Health Institute). Dr. Mukonka gave the group an update on ZNPHI activities and roles, as well as a tour of the offices.
  • Vic and Alex met again with Dr. Godfrey Biemba (Executive Director, National Health Research Authority of Zambia) to gain a better understanding of the role of the NHRA and how ZamFOHR and ZamCan may fit within this entity. Dr. Biemba has been invited to Canada later this year (November 2018) to attend the Canadian Conference on Global Health and to visit colleagues at the University of Waterloo.

Further details on these activities can be requested from the ZEP program manager, Alexandra Malloy at: alexandrajmalloy@gmail.com