Our Work in Zambia

urban slum kids resized

The School of Nursing has been working with partners in Zambia since 2006 on several projects, building on the long-standing partnership established through the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) and by the UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health.

One of these projects involves working with the General Nursing Council of Zambia, the Zambia Union of Nursing Organizations, the University of Zambia, the Lusaka School of Nursing, CIDRZ, AIDS Relief, the Zambia Ministry of Health, and other partners to develop a distance-based certificate program to prepare nurses for advanced roles in care, treatment and support of patients with HIV and AIDS. The photo below illustrates many of the key partners who participated in a curriculum development workshop to develop the curriculum for the HIV Nurse Practitioner diploma program in January, 2009.  As of January 2012, a total of 63 nurses have graduated from this program, and the third class of 29 students will complete the program in June 2012.  To read an article describing this program, please see:

Msidi, E., Sinkala, M., Bositis, A., Guberski, T., Menke, J., Montesanti, A., Morris, M., Katayamoyo, M., Mwanahamuntu, F., Mwale, A., Mweemba, P., Ngoma, R. W., Phiri, D., Wilson, C., & Wilson, L. (2011). The Zambian HIV Nurse Practitioner Diploma Programme:  Preliminary Outcomes. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 8(1).

A second project has involved using distance-education strategies to provide courses in teaching and in research coordination to study coordinators at CIDRZ. The photo below shows the graduation ceremony held in June 2008 for seven of these coordinators in Lusaka, Zambia.

A third project involves work with the World Health Organization, the University of Iowa, and other partners to develop the nursing collection of digital resources for the eGranary collection of digital resources that can be accessed without Internet access. This project will provide access to resources that otherwise may not be accessible in low-resource countries with limited internet access. Further information about this project can be found here.

A fourth project is a Global Health Professional Fellows Program funded by the U.S. State Department to support a professional exchange program between health professionals and faculty in Malawi, Zambia, Alabama, and the University of California in San Francisco.  The focus of this program is to promote global health by strengthening educational programs that prepare the next generation of health care professionals to address health disparities and provide health care for marginalized populations in Zambia, Malawi, and the United States.  The broad goals of the project are to:

(1) Address global health needs by strengthening education of health care providers  through professional development  fellowships for 25 educators and health professionals from  Zambia and Malawi,  focusing on interprofessional educational strategies and resources, use of communication to address public health needs, and preparing health professionals to meet health needs of marginalized populations with a focus on maternal/child health. The 4-week Fellowships will be offered in April 2011 and November 2011.  Fellows will spend the first 2 weeks at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) participating in seminars focused on interprofessional education with the purpose of preparing students to address health needs of marginalized populations.  During the second 2 weeks, Zambian fellows will be paired with faculty advisors at UAB and the Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy (MSP).  Fellows from Malawi will be paired with faculty advisors at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  Fellows will have hands-on experience in public health organizations and advocacy groups that serve multi-culturally diverse urban and rural communities (e.g. racial, ethnic, economically disadvantaged, homeless, gay/lesbian) and work with faculty advisors to address individual learning goals. (2) Provide opportunities for 20 faculty in the health professions at UAB, MSP, and UCSF to  take part in reciprocal fellowships and learning about marginalization of Zambian and Malawian groups and sharing their professional expertise with counterparts in Zambia and Malawi; and (3) Promote mutual understanding and sustainable partnerships between key professional groups in the U.S. (UAB, MSP,   UCSF, and selected community and health organizations) and counterpart groups in Zambia and Malawi (Universities of Zambia and Malawi and other partner organizations).

The first cohort of 6 Malawi and 6 Zambian Fellows came to UAB in May 2011, and the second cohort visited UAB in October/November 2011.  All Fellows spent 2 weeks at UAB participating in a course on interprofessional education.  The Malawi Fellows spent an additional 2 weeks at the University of California in San Francisco working with faculty in their areas of specialization, while the Zambian Fellows worked with faculty at UAB.  In February and August 2012, faculty from UAB and from the Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy visited Zambia for 2 weeks.  The long-term goal of this program is to promote sustainable educational partnerships between all participating institutions. 

A fifth project in Zambia is the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), a grant awarded to teh University of Zambia (UNZA) School of Medicine by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.  The purpose of the MEPI award is to strengthen the infrastructure of the UNZA School of Medicine and prepare more health professionals to meet the health care needs of Zambia.  The UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health is a partner in this initiative, and the UAB School of Nursing has contributed by supporting faculty consultations and visits from Zambian faculty to have a hands-on experience in the learning skills and simulation center at UAB.