With support from the Link we have developed a sustainable education and research partnership between collaborators from the UK (BSMS, University of Sussex), and institutions associated with Sexual Health and HIV clinical care in Zambia including: The University of Zambia and the Zambian Medical Association, and the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research (CIDRZ).
The partnership has successfully attracted funding from the UK (BMA charitable fund) to deliver an educational course on Sexual Health and HIV for health care workers in Lusaka, that aims to increase capacity to conduct research in Lusaka by providing education and training to health care workers and Zambian researchers in the management of STIs and HIV.
This course, developed in association with the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), and was delivered in 2017. The University of Zambia and the Zambian Medical Association are already collaborating with BSMS in projects addressing Sexual Health problems in Lusaka, and other Zambian provinces. Zambian collaborators include Dr Owen Ngalamika, Consultant Dermatovenereologist, Head of the Skin and STI Clinic at the Lusaka UTH, and Dr Aaron Mujajati, the president of the Zambian Medical Association who has links with government officials, at the Zambian Ministry of Health, and whose contribution will be essential to advance health policy in Sexual Health in Zambia.
With support from the Link Dr Owen Ngalamika visited Brighton in 2017 as part of a knowledge exchange initiative supported by the charity.
In April 2020 Dr Jaime Vera, Senior Lecturer in HIV Medicine, was awarded a grant for a new project, ‘The challenge of ageing with HIV in Africa: developing capability, partnerships and research in ageing and HIV in Zambia‘. The number of people ageing with HIV in Sub Saharan Africa is increasing as a result of improved access to antiretroviral therapy. In high income settings ageing people living with HIV have disproportionately high incidence of major non-communicable diseases and reduced health-related quality of life. Evidence of this situation happening in Zambia is lacking. This proposal aims to establish a multidisciplinary research partnership to increase research capacity and capability in ageing and HIV in Zambia. Jaime has been awarded more than £19k by the University of Sussex’s International Development Challenge Fund and Sussex Sustainability Research Programme for this project.