Zam-Can Meeting Summary – 26th June 2018

Meeting Objectives:

To build and strengthen relationships amongst the team, to introduce new team members, to share updates on activities in Zambia and Canada and to plan for future activities.


Name Role/Workplace Email
Alexandra Malloy CCGHR/ZEP/OkaZHI
Alice Hazemba UNZA/ZamFOHR
Charity Syatalimi UNZA-Center for Primary Care Research
Donald Njelesani Consultant
Fastone Goma UNZA-Center for Primary Care Research/ZamFOHR
Francis Phiri MHUNZA/Bwalo Global Development Trust
Godfrey Biemba NHRA
Inonge Milupi UNZA
James Chirombo Dignitas International
Janet Njelesani New York University
Jennifer Liu CCGHR/ZEP
Lesley Johnston CCGHR/ZEP
Nellisiwe Chizuni UNZA-Center for Primary Care Research
Netta Ndunda Mental Health Users Network of Zambia (MHUNZA)
Priva Haang’andu University of Saskatchewan
Vic Neufeld CCGHR/ZEP


Name Role/Workplace Email
Margaret Maimbolwa UNZA/ZamFOHR


Clara Mbwili-Muleya


Ministry of Health/ZamFOHR
Margaret Mweshi UNZA


Selestine Nzala


Esther Munalula



On Tuesday, 26th June 2018 the Zambia-Canada Research Partnership (ZCRP) or the “ZamCan Team” came together for a productive meeting in Lusaka, Zambia. This was the first ZamCan meeting in 15 months and it was a pleasure to bring the team together again.

The meeting was facilitated by Fastone Goma and Vic Neufeld and took place in the SACORE Boardroom at the UNZA Ridgeway Campus. This report summarizes highlights from discussions of the ZamCan team. For more details, please contact Alexandra Malloy at

Welcome, introductions and updates:

Fastone Goma welcomed the group and encouraged the team to keep each other updated on research activities. The main goal of research is to drive change; research findings should be fed into policy or practice change.

The group gave brief individual introductions and updates, followed by detailed program updates from key stakeholders.

  1. The Zambezi EcoHealth Partnership[1]
  • The Zambezi EcoHealth Partnership (the ZEP) is an integrated, multi-disciplinary and sustainable Knowledge Platform (also known as the ZEP-KP) that has two main goals: to provide evidence for addressing priority health and well-being problems of in the Zambezi watershed area; and to strengthen the resilience of the WP health system and related sectors.
  • Core partners include the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR), the University of Barotseland (UBL) and the Zambia Ministry of Health acting through the Western Province Health Office (WPHO). Associate partners include the Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA), the Centre for Primary Health Care Research within the University of Zambia, and the Okanagan Zambia Health Initiative (OkaZHI).
  • During recent ZEP meetings in Mongu, ZEP stakeholders have productive discussions around strengthening research capacity in Western Province, particularly through the newly established research committee at the Western Province Health Office. An outcome of recent ZEP meetings was the formation of ‘programme clusters’ under which all ZEP research projects will fall. The newly formed clusters are: health systems, food security and nutrition, water, malaria, climate change and environmental degradation and mining and health.
  1. The National Health Research Authority[2]
  • Godfrey Biemba, Director of the National Health Research Authority (NHRA) provided an update of NHRA activities since coming under his management in October 2017 and reviewed the NHRA mandate with the ZamCan group which includes:
    • Research regulation
    • Research coordination
    • Research promotion
    • Research capacity building
    • Research and knowledge translation
  • Biemba also offered to assist the ZCRP by ‘housing’ a ZCRP page on the NHRA website. The NHRA has also offered to serve as a ZCRP secretariat, offering space for meetings and assistance with facilitation of meetings.
    • During a follow up meeting between Dr. Biemba, Vic Neufeld and Alexandra Malloy, it was agreed that NHRA will assist with a ZCRP link on the NHRA website. A memorandum of understanding will be drafted between CCGHR and NHRA to facilitate this partnership.
  1. The Zambia Forum for Health Research[3]
  • The past year has seen ongoing discussions around the revitalization of the Zambia Forum for Health Research (ZamFOHR). A revitalization committee was formed chaired by Fastone Goma and has engaged in initial discussions around the same.
  • The ZamCan team agreed that ZamFOHR is still relevant and that the group should be revitalized and re-registered.The ZamFOHR board will also need to be reformed and reconstituted.
    • Biemba stated that there is a place for ZamFOHR to work with the NHRA, particularly in the area of knowledge translation
      • NHRA can contract KT capacity building and policy brief training to ZamFOHR
    • Stakeholders highlighted the importance of ZamFOHR to assist in mentorship of young or novice researchers and that these research should be encouraged to join ZamFOHR and relevant research-to-action groups (RAGs)
      • A highlight of discussions throughout the ZamCan meeting brought the idea of a new ZamFOHR RAG, focusing on climate change.

The Zambia-Canada Research Partnership:

Vic Neufeld led group discussions looking at both the history and the future of the ZCRP. Reflecting on a long history of partnership, the group split into small groups to discuss what works well about the ZCRP and how we may improve and strengthen our partnership moving forward.

  • The group values the discussions and relationship building experience during ZamCan meetings. Unfortunately, recent ZamCan meetings in Zambia have been 15 months apart, resulting in some loss of momentum in the partnership. It was agreed that efforts will be made to hold more frequent, regular meetings
    • In order to facilitate this, a steering committee will be formed for the ZCRP. Proposed members are: Vic Neufeld, Fastone Goma, Charity Syatalimi, Francis Phiri, Lulu Chizuni, Jessica Barker and Alexandra Malloy
    • By hosting the ZamCan page on the NHRA website, the group hopes to see more frequent partner updates and developments
  • ZamCan will aim to build on and strengthen mentorship of young and novice researchers. The group will aim to recruit new researchers at the upcoming NHRA conference in October and will encourage the these researchers to join relevant ZamFOHR RAGs
  • ZamCan partners are dedicated to strengthening communication and will aim to continue discussions even in the absence of active projects or funding
  • Fastone Goma and Vic Neufeld are currently in discussions regarding a Joseph Kasonde Memorial Lecture to take place during the NHRA conference. Fastone Goma will explore this idea further with Godfrey Biemba

[1] For more details on the Zambezi EcoHealth Partnership, please contact the program manager at:

[2] For more details on the National Health Research Authority, please visit the website at:

[3] For more details on the Zambia Forum for Health Research, please contact Fastone Goma at: or Margaret Maimbolwa at: