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SAJMHS Editorial

We are delighted to introduce the Southern African Journal of Medical and Health Sciences; a publication of the Lusaka Apex Medical University.

This landmark event has been made possible by the able editorial team led by Dr. Oswell Khondowe. The journal will publish topics of medical and health interest to all branches of the health profession. In addition to publishing original research, the journal will publish, reviews, systematic reviews, and conference proceedings. Manuscripts should be sent to the Editor in Chief, Dr. Oswell Khondowe via email Editorial enquiries and correspondence should be addressed to the journal Technical editor Ms Olga Shinondo using the same email address. All enquiries concerning advertising space or rates should be addressed to the Technical Editor. The journal will be published quarterly by the Lusaka Apex Medical University in Zambia. The Lusaka Apex Medical University grants editorial freedom to the Editor in Chief of SAJMHS. The views expressed in the journal are those of the authors and may not necessarily comply with LAMU policy. SAJMHS respects authors and shall provide timely feedback. This work is copyright under the Berne Convention. In terms of the Zambian Copyright and Performance Rights Act of 1994, no part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical without written permission from the publisher.

External and internal board members and reviewers have vast wealth of experience and include experts in different fields of medicine, health, research and statistics. Sir Alimuddin Zumla, one of the members of the International Advisory Board is a professor of infectious diseases and international health at University College London Medical School. He specialises in infectious and tropical diseases, clinical immunology, and internal medicine, with a special interest in HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections (including COVID-19 and Tuberculosis), and diseases of poverty. He is known for his leadership of infectious/tropical diseases research and capacity development activities. He was awarded a Knighthood in the 2017 Queens Birthday Honours list for services to public health and protection from infectious disease. In 2012, he was awarded Zambia’s highest civilian honour, the Order of the Grand Commander of Distinguished services – First Division. In 2020, for the third consecutive year, Zumla was recognised by Clarivate Analytics, Web of Science as one of the world’s top 1% most cited researchers. In 2021 Sir Zumla was elected as Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences.

Prof Cheryl Nikodem is a South African renowned researcher. She is a midwife with a PhD in Nursing (Midwifery and Neonatal). She has vast experience in research, publishing and has won several grants and awards. She recently completed a Law degree. Prof. Nikodem serves as expert witness in maternal and neonatal health related legal cases. She has been a Clinical Research Associate for clinical trials and non-clinical trials since 1995. She teaches in undergraduate and advance midwifery, good clinical practice, research methodology, clinical trial epidemiology, Cochrane systematic reviews, grant proposal writing, writing for publication etc. She has excellent research skills, clinical and theoretical, from developing proposals to analysing data and writing for publication. Prof Nikodem also mentors PhD and Masters students.

Prof. James Mwansa is an Associate Professor in Medical Microbiology and Director of Research, Post-graduate and Statistics at the Lusaka Apex Medical University, Zambia. He has vast experience in investigation, identification, and emergency response to epidemic infectious diseases and has published widely in local and international journals. Since 1998, he has been involved in the development of Control programs for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the WHO African region including, Schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminths, and lymphatic filariasis and other NTDs and evaluating new diagnostic tests towards the elimination of the NTDs. He supported the mapping of NTDs in Botswana, Ethiopia, South Africa and Zambia, Ethiopia and also the development of NTD Master Plans to eliminate NTDs for various African countries including Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia and as a WHO Temporary advisor. Prof mwansa supported the development of the Zambia Ministry of Health, 2002 to 2005, 2013 to 2017, and 2019 to 2023 NTD master plans and participated in updating the Zambia 2021-2026 Master plan. He was a member of the WHO/AFRO Regional Programme Review Group (RPRG) from 2014 to 2018 and a WHO consultant in 2014 Enhancing Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Laboratory Support in the WHO African Region and currently a member of the Zambia National Ministry of Health NTD programme consultant. He has been a consultant Medical Microbiologist in clinical diagnosis and management of opportunistic (HIV) infections and Hospital Infection control specialist at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) National Reference Laboratory. He collaborated with Dr. Nilanjan Lodh since 2012 in developing rapid diagnostic techniques for Schistosomiasis specific DNA detection from urine sediment.

Prof. Modest Mulenga has over 100 publications. He was recently appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor-Research and Innovation at the Lusaka Apex medical University. He is a former Senior Research Advisor for the USAID Evidence for Health project that supports government building research capacity in health care programmes. He is also a former Director, Chief Executive Officer and Principal Health Researcher of the Tropical Diseases Research Centre (TDRC) in, Ndola, Zambia. The TDRC is the main national health research institution in Zambia which is mandated to conduct research in major diseases of public health importance. He has served on a number of national and international advisory committees or research councils. He played a key role in the setting up of the National Public Health Institute and the Copperbelt University- School of Medicine. Prof Mulenga led a team that accomplished the designation of TDRC as SADC accredited regional malaria reference laboratory for surveillance and control of malaria in the region. He is a guest writer and editor for various journals including the Lancet Infectious Diseases, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and others. He held a sizable portfolio of research programme grants for disease control through research and surveillance. He reviews research papers for the WHO-AFRO, and was recently nominated to be an Editor for the newly established Health Sciences Journal for AU-ASRIC.

Professor Peter Mwaba a consultant physician is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer and is the immediate past Dean of the faculty of Medicine at Lusaka Apex Medical University, the position he had held for two years. Professor Mwaba’s career spans over 31 years and has progressively combined roles as a Clinician, Academician, Researcher and Administrator. Before his appointment as Chief Executive officer and Dean, Peter had served as Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Home Affairs for close to 7 years. Professor Mwaba served as the Managing Director of the largest health institution in Zambia, the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) for three years. Previously he held the positions of head of department of Internal Medicine at the UTH and Senior Lecturer at University of Zambia (UNZA) School of Medicine, where he trained 15 physicians as specialists and also supervised research projects for many post graduate students. He is also a visiting Lecturer at the University College London Medical School. . He has also previously served as a Research fellow at the University College London Medical School Center for Infectious diseases and International health. Professor Mwaba also distinguished himself as a Researcher especially on TB and HIV with over 136 publications tied to his name. He has written book chapters including one in the famous Manson’s Textbook on Tropical diseases. He has numerous awards including the Albert Chalmers medal where he became the first African to achieve this fete in 2005. Peter has special interest in capacity development and his main focus has been in diseases of poverty particularly HIV and tuberculosis. He has been one of the Directors of the UNZA-UCLMS project. Professor Mwaba serves on several national and international Technical committees and several Boards of Directors. He is involved in the training of masters and PhD students.

Prof. Everist Njelesani is a founder member of the Lusaka Apex medical university, Professor of Internal Medicine and the Vice Chancellor at the Lusaka Apex Medical University. He was the Director of the Tropical Diseases Research Centre, Ndola, Zambia between 1981 and 1984. He was the President of the East Central and Southern Africa College of Physicians (ECSACOP), Internal Medicine between 2016 and 2019. He served as the WHO Representative for the World Health Organization African Region, WR’s Office, Free Town, Lagos/Abuja, Harare, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe between 1992 and 2007. Prof Njelesani served as the Permanent Secretary and Director of Medical Services in the Ministry of Health (Government of the Republic of Zambia) between the years 1984 and 1991. He is the Founding Chairman for the Zambia National Health Research Authority and Founding President for the Zambia College of Physicians (ZACOPH). He has vast experience in research.

Prof Godfrey Biemba is currently Director and Chief Executive Officer for the National Health Research Authority (NHRA) and Adjunct Research Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Public Health, USA. Among his academic and professional qualifications are: A Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Zambia, a postgraduate Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Liverpool, UK, and a Master of Science Degree in Public Health from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, London, UK. Prof Biemba has over 34 years’ experience in the health sector as a medical practitioner, researcher, and public health manager. The focus of his past 28 years of his time has been conducting various types of health related research, ranging from clinical trials to community based evaluations, impact evaluations of public health programs, situational analyses in the areas of malaria, health systems, orphans and vulnerable children, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), road safety, maternal, neonatal, and child health, and HIV/AIDS. His public health research has involved the use of various quantitative and qualitative research methods. In addition to conducting his own research, he has spent a lot of time building research capacity through teaching and mentorship of young scientists conducting clinical trials, community based trials, including cluster randomized trials, health systems research and Protection of Research Participants (Research Ethics), Good Clinical Practice (GCP) in the conduct of research. He has been a clinical trials study monitor and has sat on data safety monitoring board (DSMB). He has supervised and mentored masters and PhD students in public health related theses. He has also played a key role in the development of research policies and strategies in Zambia, including the setting of the first national health research agenda in Zambia in 1999 as he was the first of the three authors of a document called “Zambia national health research agenda: National health research priorities and recommendations for action (1999)” under the then Central Board of Health (CBOH) Zambia. Recently he led a team of experts to develop the second National Health Research Agenda (Priorities) for Zambia. The document is entitled, ‘The Zambia National Health Research Agenda 2018-2021: Setting the direction for evidence based decision making without leaving anyone behind.” He also led a team of experts in early 2008 to develop the first Guidelines for Research in Traditional Medicine in Zambia, adapted from guidelines from the World Health Organization. In 2017-2018 he led another team of experts and stakeholders to update the document entitled, “Guidelines for Research in Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine in Zambia.”

Prof Biemba has been a Research Assistant Professor of Global Health at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) from 2008 to 2017 and Country Director of the Zambian Center for Applied Health Research and Development (ZCAHRD) Limited from 2010 to 2017. From September 2017, he was appointed Adjunct Research Assistant Professor of Global Health at Boston University School of Public Health. In October 2017, he was appointed Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Research Authority (NHRA) in Zambia. The NHRA is a statutory body responsible for regulating and promoting all health related research in Zambia, which includes registering and accrediting researchers, research institutions and research ethics committees or institutional review boards. He has over 80 publications, out of which 49 are peer reviewed articles published in international peer reviewed journals.As of August 5, 2019, he achieved a ResearchGate Publications Score of 31.17. His research gate h-index is 17 (excluding self-citations). His Google scholar citations h-index is 19 and i10-index is 23.

Huib Cornielje is a Dutch physiotherapist and researcher who developed a comprehensive CBR program in the 1980s during his time as rehabilitation manager at a rural hospital in South Africa. As head of the training unit of the Institute of Urban Primary Health Care (IUPHC) in Alexandra township, he initiated an urban CBR program in the 1990s. Since 1999 he has served as director of Enablement Ltd., which focuses on capacity building, research, and innovation in the disability-inclusive development sector. He was senior lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Leiden.

Prof. Nina Emaus is a Norwegian researcher at UiT The Arctic University of Norway (UiT), Tromsø. She has successfully supervised several PhD students and has over 130 publications in peer reviewed journals with more than 3480 citations. She is a UiT, Faculty of Health representative for Global Health and was a member of the Norwegian volunteer service (the newly established “FK”) between 2000 and 2006.

Janet Njelesani, PhD, OTR/L, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, New York University, USA. She is an occupational therapist with a PhD in Rehabilitation Science and Global Health from the University of Toronto. Janet’s research investigates how the fields of occupational therapy, global health, and international development intersect to mediate participation for persons with disabilities. Her current research explores school violence against children with disabilities in East Africa. To her research, Dr. Njelesani brings a breadth of both clinical and consulting expertise, having worked as a clinician for over 15 years and through her role providing disability and rehabilitation technical advice to Governments, United Nations agencies, and international non-governmental organizations.

Dr. Oswell Khondowe holds a PhD in Physiotherapy, Masters in Adapted Physical Activity (KULeuven, Belgium, MSc in Physiotherapy (UWC, South Africa), BSc in Physiotherapy (UWC, South Africa) and is the Dean for the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Lusaka Apex Medical University. He worked at Stellenbosch University as a lecturer and researcher between 2008 and 2015 before joining the Lusaka Apex Medical University. He is a trained Good Clinical Practice trainer (Vienna, Austria) and was a member of the Health Research Ethics Committee at Stellenbosch University in South Africa between 2014 and 2015. He teaches Research methodology and Epidemiology at the Lusaka Apex Medical University. He is a board member of several organizations in Zambia including the Special Olympics Zambia and National Stroke Aid. He was the founder Technical Editor for Journal of Community and Health Sciences, a journal of the University of the Western Cape between 2004 and 2008. He is currently the chairperson for the Lusaka Apex Medical University Biomedical Research Ethics Committee. He has published in local and international journals. He is also a reviewer for several medical journals. Between 2010 and 2013 he was a researcher and trainer for Good Clinical Practice and anthropometry on the Promise Pep/ANRS 12174 study. The PROMISE PEP study was a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled multi-centre trial that measured the efficacy of prolonged peri-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) with lamivudine (3TC) to prevent HIV-1-transmission through breast milk and death in children born to HIV-1-infected mothers not eligible for HAART and having benefited from WHO-recommended enhanced perinatal antiretroviral (ARV) regimens. It was a collaborative study conducted in four African countries including Zambia, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Uganda. The collaboration was between the School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape, the University of Montpellier France, the University of Bergen Norway, Centre Muraz, Burkina Faso, the University of Zambia and Makerere University, Uganda.

Dr Lydia Hangulu is a Zambian academician with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health, a Masters’s; Doctorate in Health Promotion and also completed her Postdoctoral Fellowship. Currently, she is serving as Head of the Department for Public Health at Lusaka Apex Medical University in Zambia. She is a social researcher with research interests focusing on infection prevention and control, healthcare waste management in home-based care settings, HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis and diabetes, adolescent health as well as neonatal and maternal health employing multi-method approaches. Dr Hangulu has a trail of publications in international high-impact journals. Dr Hangulu is a Team Leader for Zambia, and a part-time consultant with Africa Community Development and Research Centre (ACDRC) since 2015. As a consultant, she has evaluated programs, conducted baseline surveys, situational assessments, needs assessment surveys, and feasibility studies that focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health for adolescents and adults, HIV management, maternal, neonatal and child healthcare, infection prevention as well as water and sanitation issues. She also provides research services such as proposal writing, building the capacity of health interventions and facilitating health education programs from inception to execution. In her work, she embraces gender, disability, culture, environment in-order to contribute to issues of community development. Additionally, she is very flexible and adaptable to fit comfortably in other technical fields of development where social research, documentation or process facilitation skills are required. Dr Hangulu has affiliations with Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI) program; University of Cologne under the DAAD Dies-Progrant writing program; the African Population Health Research Center in Nairobi, Kenya under the ADDRF program; a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, the Health Professional Council of Zambia and the Association of Schools of Public Health in Africa (ASPHA). She is also a member of the Lusaka Apex Medical University (LAMU) Biomedical Research Ethics Committee. Dr Hangulu is one of the team leaders on an implementation science research project known as a ‘DIPLOMATIC Study’ in Zambia, which focuses on access to antenatal care and ultrasound scanning services for pregnant women which aims at reducing prenatal and stillbirths among women of childbearing age within healthcare facilities in Zambia in collaboration with Zambia Ministry of Health; University of Liverpool; Lusaka Apex Medical University, University Teaching Hospital, Levy Mwanawasa University; University of Malawi; Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit.

I applaud the Lusaka Apex Medical University for its Decision to launch an open-access publication: SAJMHS. As one of its inaugural Editorial Board members, I am inspired to launch our new journal, the Southern African Journal of Medical and Health Sciences, and to welcome you all to this inaugural issue. The SAJMHS journal’s editorial team comprises a local and internationally respected pool of researchers bringing together different areas of expertise in health sciences and medicine. Since our goal is to promote a broad and exhaustive approach, the journal will welcome special issues on cutting-edge topics proposed by leading scientists who can volunteer to act as guest editors.

We look forward to your submissions and support of the journal.

Prof. Peter Mwaba

LAMU CEO and Editorial Board Member