Lusaka, Zambia

University of Zambia

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Lusaka, Zambia

The University of Zambia is Zambia's largest university, founded in 1966. It has a student population of about 24,834. Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Episcopal Relief & Development and Zambia Anglican Council Outreach Programmes (ZACOP) celebrated the five-year achievements of their flagship integrated Early Childhood Development Program at a forum in Lusaka on Wednesday, May 24. More than 70 attendees participated in the forum, including The Most Rev. Albert Chama, Archbishop and Primate of the Church of the Province of Central Africa. Representatives were present from the Zambian Ministry of Education, as well as national and international non-governmental organizations such as UNICEF and USAID. At the event, participants discussed key findings from the five-year program report and external evaluation report shared earlier with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which provided major funding as part of its Young Children Affected by AIDS Initiative. “Timely, cost-effective interventions are valuable to protect these precious children gifted to us,” said The Most Rev. Albert Chama, Archbishop and Primate of the Church of the Province of Central Africa. “The Early Childhood Development program is a great investment that helps to reduce socioeconomic disparities. In developing the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional abilities of our children, we work towards making the world a better place.” During the forum, Dr. Beatrice Matafwali of the University of Zambia presented the results and recommendations of the five-year program evaluation, which documented achievements in four areas: The evaluation documented increases in parenting activities that promote cognitive, language and motor skills along with social-emotional development. It also noted that illness decreased due to improved nutrition and increased use of health services and prevention practices. The introduction of savings and loan groups as a program component helped participants save and manage their funds to invest in the health and well-being of their children. The forum also highlighted participant experiences and insights, and covered topics such as the Church’s role and government response to Early Childhood Development and the program’s relationship to the Sustainable Development Goals. “Early Childhood Development is one of the priority areas for the government,” commented Zambia’s Minister of General Education, The Hon. Dr. Dennis Wanchinga. “Government recognises the role that partners play in investing in the early years of children. Therefore, a strong collaborative effort coupled with more investment, new resources and more attention is needed to scale up results-oriented interventions which certainly make children thrive and lay the foundation for their future educational development.” The integrated Early Childhood Development program began in 2012, offering a holistic, family-focused approach to caring for and supporting the health, nutrition, early learning and development of young children. The program relies on engaging local leaders, stakeholders and communities for sustainable impact. Working through trained local volunteers in 53 rural communities, the program has involved more than 6,000 participating families, reaching nearly 10,000 children under the age of five. Almost half the families had been affected in some way by HIV or AIDS. Through program activities, caregivers learned new ways of interacting with their children to support physical and mental development, and also grew their own capacity through skills and financial habits to improve the well-being of themselves and their households. "Zambia Anglican Council Outreach Programmes, together with Episcopal Relief & Development, have developed an effective means of providing vulnerable young children and families with holistic support to strengthen parenting relationships, improve responsive care and stimulation and bring an array of other services to address health, nutrition and economic empowerment,” said Lisa Bohmer, Senior Program Officer for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “We are pleased to see the promising indications of impact at both family and community levels and we hope that the learnings can be widely shared." Overall, the evaluation found that the integrated, community-led program model has wide applicability in rural communities across Africa, particularly in high HIV prevalence areas. Working through existing faith networks and training local volunteers makes the program cost-effective, sustainable and scaleable, and the program model has already been adapted in Kenya by Episcopal Relief & Development’s partner, Anglican Development Services-Nyanza. In Zambia, since progress has been made on securing resources and services to support existing program activities, the program is planning to expand to reach more vulnerable children and families in both current and new communities. “The Early Childhood Development program in Zambia shows the advantage of strengthening local faith networks to empower caregivers and ensure healthy child development,” said Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & Development. “This is an important focus area in our work, and I am grateful to the Hilton Foundation for enabling us and our partners to demonstrate how this community-based method can touch thousands of lives.” Visit Episcopal Relief & Development online for more information about the integrated Early Childhood Development program. For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has served as a compassionate response to human suffering in the world. The agency works with more than 3 million people in nearly 40 countries worldwide to overcome poverty, hunger and disease through multi-sector programs, using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, it works closely with Anglican Communion and ecumenical partners to help communities create long-term development strategies and rebuild after disasters.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2007-1-3-09 | Award Amount: 7.62M | Year: 2009

This project aims at Improving Human Health and Animal Production in developing countries through Integrated Control of Neglected Zoonoses in animals, based on Scientific Innovation and Public Engagement. Neglected zoonoses, such as anthrax, rabies, brucellosis, bovine TB, zoonotic trypanosomiasis, echinococcosis, cysticercosis and leishmaniasis, are major causes of ill-health in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Production animals and companion animals of significant societal value act as reservoirs for transmission to man, and the burden of these diseases on affected communities is compounded by the adverse effects many diseases have on the productivity of livestock and hence the livelihoods of the poor. Control of these diseases in animals represents an opportunity to address the constraints they pose to both human health and animal productivity, thereby contributing to poverty reduction and the MDGs. Effective control in animals will require scientific innovation to identify and (where necessary) develop tools for diagnosis, for quantification of disease burdens, and for control. Public engagement at all stakeholder levels will be needed to ensure that strategies are appropriate for use in affected communities and are adopted within the policy framework of affected countries. The project will: (i) map and review research activities at a global level, (ii) survey and assess the burden of zoonoses in communities, (iii) improve or develop disease control tools as appropriate for conditions in affected countries, with private sector inputs where appropriate, (iv) develop cost-effective control and prevention strategies taking into account economic, sociological and cultural factors as well as traditional knowledge, (v) build capacity in ICPCs through technology transfer and training and (vi) empower communities and policy makers to utilise control and prevention strategies appropriately and effectively.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: KBBE.2010.1.2-03 | Award Amount: 4.94M | Year: 2011

EAU4Food seeks to address the need for new approaches to increase food production in irrigated areas in Africa, while ensuring healthy and resilient environments. Potential pitfalls of introducing innovations in local farming systems, like limited adoption by farmers and trade-off effects to other (environmental) systems are overcome by, respectively, i) utilizing a true transdisciplinary approach, which involves the active participation of all stakeholders in all relevant disciplines, and ii) by determining and respecting so called sustainable production thresholds. EAU4Food is executed in four irrigated areas in Africa, viz. Southern Africa (Mozambique and South-Africa), Tunisia, Mali and Ethiopia to fully benefit from the potential of cross distributing promising strategies and innovations. At each site, key indicators, risk factors, farm strategies and biophysical parameters are monitored for identification of current constraints to food production and to evaluate agro-ecological and socio-economic impacts of improved practices and/or innovations after implementation. Results of EAU4Food are distilled into tailor made support tables and guidelines for different user groups. These support tables and guidelines support decision making processes at local level by overseeing short-term and long-term effects of alternative practices and improved strategies. EAU4Food is expected to have significant positive impacts on agricultural production at farm level for many years to come, and on wider policy processes at national and trans-national levels. To enlarge and maintain the impact of EAU4Food, capacity building programmes are developed at different levels, going from farmer to farmer exchange up to exchange of scientific personnel. Moreover, further exploitation of the results of EAU4Food is supported via other mediums such as songs of success, documentaries, school programmes, policy briefs, fact-books and scientific publications and presentations.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.4-07 | Award Amount: 1.06M | Year: 2012

Aquaculture is widely considered as important for enhancing food security, alleviating poverty and improving nutrition. However, little information is available concerning the direct and indirect impacts of aquaculture on food security and poverty alleviation in most developing countries and LIFDCs. Strengthening the knowledge base surrounding aquaculture and food and nutrition security through this project will provide the evidence upon which sound resource allocation and strategies can be based, and subsequently plan, implement and coordinate efficiently development and research programmes supporting the sustainable expansion of aquaculture and increasing its impact to food security and poverty alleviation. The project is to be implemented by 18 partners in 11 selected LIFDCs, 3 EU partners, and 3 international organizations. The project will strengthen the knowledge base on food security and poverty and develop new methodologies or more rigorous methodologies to quantify the contribution of aquaculture in combating hunger and poverty in developing countries and LIFDCs. This will endeavour to better understand aquacultures contribution to human development. Project partner countries were selected based on varied human development conditions and national level efforts in including aquaculture for improving national food security and alleviating poverty. They represent all major aquaculture regions and ICPCs where aquaculture has major contributions to national economy involve high numbers of small-scale aquaculture farms, and with high international trade of fish and fishery products. The results of the project will be brought to the attention of countries and development partners, particularly the EU, and outputs will help LIFDCs and various development partners to improve efficiency and coordination in development initiatives focused on aquaculture as a means of promoting food security and poverty alleviation.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

In the transmission of HIV-1 from mother to child only a subset of a mother's viruses infects their infants either in utero or via breastfeeding, and the viruses that are transmitted depend on whether transmission occurs during pregnancy or through breastfeeding, according to UCLA-led research. Mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type1 poses a serious health threat in developing countries, and more effective interventions are needed. Previous studies determined that strains of HIV that infect both adults and infants almost always use the CCR5 co-receptor for infection and also that that infection is often established by a single viral variant rather than by multiple variants. Additionally, previous studies have shown some of the features of the transmitted viruses. The researchers isolated viruses from mothers who transmitted HIV to their babies during pregnancy and from mothers who transmitted the virus while breastfeeding. They created hundreds of clones of the envelope, which is the outside portion of the virus that attaches to and infects cells, and then sequenced the envelope regions. The researchers did this to determine how the different regions varied in length and also how many sites they have for the attachment of sugar molecules (HIV coats its envelope with sugar molecules to evade the immune system). They also tested the envelope clones in cell lines in the lab to determine how easily they could infect human cells, how many receptors and co-receptors the clone needs on the outside of cells to infect them, and if their ability to infect the cells could be blocked by neutralizing antibodies. What they found is that the viruses are generally shorter in specific regions of the virus' envelope, have fewer sugars attached in the envelope and are less likely to be neutralized by CD4 "helper" cells that are a crucial part of the immune system. While most cases of mother-to-child transmission of HIV can be prevented by treating mothers and babies with anti-HIV drugs, transmissions still occur. There were an estimated 240,000 transmissions in 2013. This study highlights the need for different strategies to prevent transmission during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. It also provides information into which antibodies may be helpful. The authors were Grace Aldrovandi, Nicole Tobin and Nicholas Webb of UCLA Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute; Kyle Nakamura, Edwin Sobrera, Thomas Wilkinson of Children's Hospital Los Angeles; Katherine Semrau and Donald Thea of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Ariadne Labs; Chipepo Kankasa of the University of Zambia; Benhur Lee of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Louise Kuhn of Columbia University; and Laura Heath and James Mullins of the University of Washington. Nakamura is also affiliated with the University of Southern California. The study was published in the journal Retrovirology. This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health Cellular, Biochemical, and Molecular Sciences Training Program Grant (T32 067587), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (RO1 HD 39611, RO1 HD 40777), and International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Trials Group (U01 A1068632), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (R37 AI047734) and the Seattle Center for AIDS Research Molecular Profiling and Computational Biology Core (P30 AI027757).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: WATER-5c-2015 | Award Amount: 5.42M | Year: 2016

Global trends in population growth and rising economic prosperity will increase the demand for energy, food and water, with more severe impact in fast-growing economies, such as in several African countries. The constraints on water, energy, and food could well hamper economic development, lead to social and geopolitical tensions, and cause lasting environmental damage. DAFNE advocates an integrated and adaptive water resources planning and management approach that explicitly addresses the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus from a novel participatory and multidisciplinary perspective. This includes social, economic, and ecologic dimensions, involves both public and private actors and is socially inclusive, enhances resource efficiency and prevents the loss of ecosystem services in regions where large infrastructures exist or are being built and intensive agriculture is expanding. A decision-analytic-framework (DAF) will be developed to quantitatively assess the social, economic, and environmental impact of expanding energy and food production in complex physical and political contexts, where natural and social processes are strongly interconnected and the institutional setting involves multiple stakeholders and decision-makers. The DAFNE approach will be demonstrated by analysing two cross-boundary case studies, the Zambezi and the Omo river basins. The WEF nexus will be quantified and analysed as the trade-off between conflicting objectives such as hydropower production vs irrigation, land exploitation vs conservation, etc. The nexus will be translated in economic values and impact on growth, ecosystems and ecosystem services. DAFNE will allow a better understanding of the WEF nexus, and generate and explore alternative planning and management solutions based on the cooperation of public and private stakeholders, which foster the profitable but equitable use of resources without transgressing environmental limits or creating societal and/or stakeholder conflicts.


Lawn S.D.,University of Cape Town | Lawn S.D.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Zumla A.I.,University College London | Zumla A.I.,University of Zambia
The Lancet | Year: 2011

Tuberculosis results in an estimated 1·7 million deaths each year and the worldwide number of new cases (more than 9 million) is higher than at any other time in history. 22 low-income and middle-income countries account for more than 80 of the active cases in the world. Due to the devastating effect of HIV on susceptibility to tuberculosis, sub-Saharan Africa has been disproportionately affected and accounts for four of every five cases of HIV-associated tuberculosis. In many regions highly endemic for tuberculosis, diagnosis continues to rely on century-old sputum microscopy; there is no vaccine with adequate effectiveness and tuberculosis treatment regimens are protracted and have a risk of toxic effects. Increasing rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis in eastern Europe, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa now threaten to undermine the gains made by worldwide tuberculosis control programmes. Moreover, our fundamental understanding of the pathogenesis of this disease is inadequate. However, increased investment has allowed basic science and translational and applied research to produce new data, leading to promising progress in the development of improved tuberculosis diagnostics, biomarkers of disease activity, drugs, and vaccines. The growing scientific momentum must be accompanied by much greater investment and political commitment to meet this huge persisting challenge to public health. Our Seminar presents current perspectives on the scale of the epidemic, the pathogen and the host response, present and emerging methods for disease control (including diagnostics, drugs, biomarkers, and vaccines), and the ongoing challenge of tuberculosis control in adults in the 21st century. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

In the transmission of HIV-1 from mother to child only a subset of a mother's viruses infects their infants either in utero or via breastfeeding, and the viruses that are transmitted depend on whether transmission occurs during pregnancy or through breastfeeding, according to UCLA-led research. Mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type1 poses a serious health threat in developing countries, and more effective interventions are needed. Previous studies determined that strains of HIV that infect both adults and infants almost always use the CCR5 co-receptor for infection and also that that infection is often established by a single viral variant rather than by multiple variants. Additionally, previous studies have shown some of the features of the transmitted viruses. The researchers isolated viruses from mothers who transmitted HIV to their babies during pregnancy and from mothers who transmitted the virus while breastfeeding. They created hundreds of clones of the envelope, which is the outside portion of the virus that attaches to and infects cells, and then sequenced the envelope regions. The researchers did this to determine how the different regions varied in length and also how many sites they have for the attachment of sugar molecules (HIV coats its envelope with sugar molecules to evade the immune system). They also tested the envelope clones in cell lines in the lab to determine how easily they could infect human cells, how many receptors and co-receptors the clone needs on the outside of cells to infect them, and if their ability to infect the cells could be blocked by neutralizing antibodies. What they found is that the viruses are generally shorter in specific regions of the virus' envelope, have fewer sugars attached in the envelope and are less likely to be neutralized by CD4 "helper" cells that are a crucial part of the immune system. While most cases of mother-to-child transmission of HIV can be prevented by treating mothers and babies with anti-HIV drugs, transmissions still occur. There were an estimated 240,000 transmissions in 2013. This study highlights the need for different strategies to prevent transmission during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. It also provides information into which antibodies may be helpful. The authors were Grace Aldrovandi, Nicole Tobin and Nicholas Webb of UCLA Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute; Kyle Nakamura, Edwin Sobrera, Thomas Wilkinson of Children's Hospital Los Angeles; Katherine Semrau and Donald Thea of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Ariadne Labs; Chipepo Kankasa of the University of Zambia; Benhur Lee of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Louise Kuhn of Columbia University; and Laura Heath and James Mullins of the University of Washington. Nakamura is also affiliated with the University of Southern California. The study was published in the journal Retrovirology.


Abstract- This article examines the implications that 4 decades of multimethod research in Zambia have for psychological assessment, parent-teacher communication, educational policy, and research methodology. Its primary focus is a cultural study of indigenous ideas in a rural Chewa community in eastern Zambia that concluded that, within this culture, children's intelligence was construed as an amalgam of cognitive alacrity and social responsibility. But in Zambia, as elsewhere, the curriculum of institutionalized public basic schooling is almost exclusively addressed to the cultivation of knowledge and cognitive skills. The article outlines the approach to education taken by Child-to-Child, one that resonates with indigenous African values and practices. It also describes a case study of the application of this approach at a public primary school in northern Zambia that documented sustained increases in social responsibility alongside strong academic outcomes. Connections with research and policy in other societies are also discussed. © 2011 The Author. Child Development Perspectives © 2011 The Society for Research in Child Development.


Despite the relatively effective roll-out of free life-prolonging antiretroviral therapy (ART) in public sector clinics in Zambia since 2005, and the proven efficacy of ART, some people living with HIV (PLHIV) are abandoning the treatment. Drawing on a wider ethnographic study in a predominantly low-income, high-density residential area of Lusaka, this paper reports the reasons why PLHIV opted to discontinue their HIV treatment. Opened-ended, in-depth interviews were held with PLHIV who had stopped ART (n =25), ART clinic staff (n=5), religious leaders (n=5), herbal medicine providers (n=5) and lay home-based caregivers (n=5). In addition, participant observations were conducted in the study setting for 18 months. Interview data were analysed using open coding first, and then interpreted using latent content analysis. The presentation of the results is guided by a social-ecological framework. Patient attrition from ART care is influenced by an interplay of personal, social, health system and structural-level factors. While improved corporeal health, side effects and need for normalcy diminished motivation to continue with treatment, individuals also weighed the social and economic costs of continued uptake of treatment. Long waiting times for medical care and placing "defaulters" on intensive adherence counselling in the context of insecure labour conditions and livelihood constraints not only imposed opportunity costs which patients were not willing to forego, but also forced individuals to balance physical health with social integrity, which sometimes forced them to opt for faith healing and traditional medicine. Complex and dynamic interplay of personal, social, health system and structural-level factors coalesces to influence patient attrition from ART care. Consequently, while patient-centred interventions are required, efforts should be made to improve ART care by extending and establishing flexible ART clinic hours, improving patient-provider dialogue about treatment experiences and being mindful of the way intensive adherence counselling is being enforced. In the context of insecure labour conditions and fragile livelihoods, this would enable individuals to more easily balance time for treatment and their livelihoods. As a corollary, the perceived efficacy of alternative treatment and faith healing needs to be challenged through sensitizations targeting patients, religious leaders/faith healers and herbal medicine providers.

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