CGHD, SPH, Med School, ENG & CAS join forces in Zambia

Dr. Godfrey Biemba, Country Director, and Dr. David Hamer, Director of Research and Evaluation, talk about their work.

Greetings from Lusaka,

The Zambia Center for Applied Health Research and Development (ZCAHRD) is an independent, locally registered nongovernmental organization composed of Zambian public health professionals and faculty and staff of the Center for Global Health & Development (CGHD) at Boston University, who are working together to improve public health through applied health research, public health program evaluations, and assisting the government with delivery of health services. We work with local Zambian scientists and health professionals to carry out applied policy and program-relevant research in order to generate evidence to support health policy decisions that will improve public health and wellbeing in Zambia. In recognition of ZCARHD’s close ties with the Zambian government, we now have a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Health.

Boston University faculty from CGHD and the schools of Public Health, Medicine, Engineering, and Arts & Sciences are involved in Zambia-based research, evaluation, and service delivery projects. Some major current projects include the Boston University Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission Integration Program (BU-PIP), a large-scale service-delivery project in the Southern Province that is working to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV; the Zambia Chlorhexidine Application Trial (ZamCAT), a cluster-randomized trial that is testing a simple, low-cost intervention to reduce neonatal mortality); Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL), a maternal mortality-reduction project); PERCH, a study of the causes of severe pneumonia in young children; the Lufwanyama Integrated Neonatal and Child Health project (LINCHPIN), which is evaluating how traditional birth attendants and community health workers can work together as a team to deliver a continuum of care from late pregnancy through age 5 of a child’s life; evaluation of the national pilot program of community health assistants (CHAs); and an impact evaluation for UNICEF of a national water, sanitation, and hygiene program.

During the last 6 years, more than 50 Boston University students from the BU schools of Public Health, Medicine, and Engineering have participated in research and service delivery projects in Zambia. Most interns spend 6 months working on ZCAHRD projects, often as part of the School of Public Health’s International Health practicum requirements. Many have loved their time so much in Zambia that they have stayed on to work as consultants for ZCHARD and other organizations for longer periods of time.

We anticipate continued growth of the research and service delivery programs at ZCAHRD over the next five years and therefore welcome faculty and staff who are interested to learn more about our activities to come visit us in Zambia. Besides the excellent opportunities to participate in policy-relevant implementation research in Zambia, there are great game parks like the South Luangwa National Park and Victoria Falls that are also worth a visit.

For more information on BU current and past activities in Zambia, please visit the following sites:

Here are photos from ZCAHRD that will make you feel like you’re there: