SPARCo Zimbabwe

Dr. Kuona is a Paediatrician and Senior Lecturer in the Unit of Adolescent and Child Health at University of Zimbabwe Faculty of Medicine (College of Health Sciences) where she has taught and researched for the past 11 years. Clinician with a passion for patient-centred care and has had a long-term interest in SCD care. Established the Harare SCD cohort at the SCD clinic at Parirenyatwa Teaching Hospital in 2018 recruiting over 115 children supported by the MEPI junior faculty program [D43TW010137]. She was an ICOHRTA/FIC/NIH research fellow in 2007-2008. She was awarded the Letten Foundation scholarship to complete her Doctorate in 2012-2015 at the University of Oslo. She was a scholar of the MEPI Junior Faculty award in 2016-2018. She was a co-investigator in the Better Health for the African Mother and Child (BHAMC) study , a cohort of 1050 mother-baby pairs where she performed various studies in malnutrition among HIV exposed and unexposed children.

Dr. Kuona is also an investigator in the UZ birth cohort study of perinatal HIV infection among 1,200 mother-baby pairs established in 2016. She acquired extensive outreach experience as the program lead of the “Lifesaving treatment of complicated severe acute malnutrition” project, a UNICEF-supported project on severe acute malnutrition implemented in 2019. Since 2016 she has served as a member of the National Health and Research Development Committee of the Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe. She is a member of SIOP, the Paediatric Association of Zimbabwe(PAZ), the Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA) Scientific committee and is in the National Validation Committee for elimination of maternal-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. She is currently completing a clinical fellowship in Paediatric haematology oncology at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital affiliated to the University of Witwatersrand (2020-2021) under the African Paediatric Fellowship Programme.

Dr. Kandawasvika (MD, PhD), is the Coordinator of the Paediatrics and Child Health program in the Child and Adolescent Health Unit , University of Zimbabwe, where she has taught and conducted research for the past 16 years. She is a paediatrician with research interests in, Sickle cell disease, paediatric HIV, nutrition, neurology, non-communicable diseases and climate change. She has published in peer reviewed journals and co-authored several book chapters. She has experience in the conduct of field studies having taken part in the SHINE (Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy) study in Zimbabwe investigating neurodevelopmental aspects of infants. Dr Kandawasvika is an executive member of the Zimbabwe Chapter of ILAE and the Paediatric Association of Zimbabwe.

SPARCo Zimbabwe Member: Dr. Ian Machingura (Co-Investigator)

Dr. Machingura is a Senior Lecturer and current Chairman in the Department of Laboratory Diagnostic and Investigative Sciences, University of Zimbabwe. He teaches Clinical Biochemistry, his research interest is in Non-communicable diseases and Health Systems Strengthening. He is a founding member and current Chairman of the PublicHealth.Africa and Africa Consortium on Laboratory Systems Strengthening.

SPARCo Zimbabwe Member: Dr. Catherine Chunda Liyoka

Dr. Liyoka is Consultant Paediatrician, Head Paediatric Haematology Department,Chair National SCD Taskforce and National Coordinator SCD Newborn screening program. CO-PI SHAZ.

Dr. Chidawanyika is a lecturer in the Department of Medicine at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences and has the background knowledge and expertise to be involved in this proposed program. Her first encounter with doing research was as a medical officer in the Microbicides Trial Network studies (MTN 003,003B, 016, and 017). She was involved in the write up, recruitment and follow up of participants recruited in a major study. Following this she enrolled into the MMed Medicine programme with University of Zimbabwe. As part of the fulfillment of the programme she produced a thesis and conducted her own study independently. During this time, she was awarded a fellowship with International Clinical Operational and Health Services Research Training Award for AIDS and Tuberculosis Programme (ICOHRTA-AIDS/TB) for a period of two years, during which time she also received extra training on research methodology, research ethics and conduct. Her initial experience in the microbicides trial study was also very useful in determining the conduct of my study.

Dr. Chidawanyika was also awarded the NIH MEPI Junior faculty fellowship to conduct research in pregnant women with Kaposi’s Sarcoma. This research work should be completed by mid-2020. She is also a junior investigator in an AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC) study which awaits approval on their site. As a result of her experience, she has mastered the importance of good clinical practice and conduct when carrying out a research project. She has also been enlightened on the importance of publishing results of relevant research work for the advancement of science and medical knowledge. She has presented her thesis at two conferences and has published one case report to date. Her keen interest is on medical oncology, in particular, targeted cancer therapy. She is currently working in the Kaposi’s Sarcoma clinic at Parirenyatwa hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe. The time she has spent at the clinic has encouraged her to strive for better treatment of this common condition in our setting. This will be through further research and publishing of clinical case reports.

Ms. Takudzwa is a Medical Research Scientist with more than ten years experience in laboratory diagnostics, quality systems management, medical research, project management and coordination with cumulative expertise in setting up organisational systems and operational procedures. Her work has transitioned through fulltime clinical laboratory practice, research and implementation science, culminating in my role as Project Coordinator within the University of Zimbabwe (UZ). Ms. Takudzwa holds a BSc in Medical Laboratory Sciences and an MSc in Medical Microbiology from the UZ, and a Masters in Public Health from Maseno University. She is also a Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Clinical Pharmacology here at the UZ. Prior to joining the university in 2015, She worked at the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory, Ministry of Health and Child Care, and she has significant experience in developing project protocols and implementation tools. Her main role in SHAZ is to provide overall day-to-day management and ensure successful study implementation.

SPARCo Zimbabwe Member: Prof. Midion Chidzonga (Advisor)

Prof. Chidzonga a specialist and Professor in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, former Dean of the then University of Zimbabwe College of Medicine and Health Sciences (11 years). Prof. Chidzonga was involved in several NIH-funded research projects: clinical, health professions education, and health research capacity building and well-published in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Oral Health journals. Prof. Chidzonga current research activities include the following: Oral Health and Asthma, Perceptions of e-learning of health professions students under the COVID-19 pandemic, working on a grant for training in health research ethics at Masters degree level.

SPARCo Zimbabwe Member: Ms. Thokozile Mashaah (Administrator)

Ms. Thokozile Mashaah is the Deputy Director/ Grants Administrator for the Research Support Centre (RSC) at the University of Zimbabwe Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. She has been instrumental in the establishment of the RSC and has supported the pre-award and post-award process. Through her work, she has trained faculty and administrators in grant writing and management. Thokozile is also a Technical Subcommittee member for the AAS Good Research Management Practice (GRMP) and leads the AFREhealth RSC Technical Working Group. Prior to joining the RSC, she was a Programmes Officer in a regional NGO. She holds a MSc in Population Studies from University of Zimbabwe and is a PhD candidate with the University of Zimbabwe.