The Manicaland Centre for Public Health Research is a major collaborative scientific HIV/STD Prevention research initiative, housed within the Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI).
We research and respond to trends in the spread, impact and control of the HIV epidemic in Zimbabwe.
The Manicaland Centre for Public Health Research is a collaborative research centre based in east Zimbabwe which focuses on understanding HIV epidemics and on contributing to the development of public health interventions that are effective in reducing their spread and demographic impact.
The principal collaborating institutions in the project are the Biomedical Research and Training Institute in Harare and Imperial College London. We also have joint research projects with people from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Copenhagen. Our principle funding agencies are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Wellcome Trust.
The Manicaland Centre for Public Health Research started its work in the early 1990’s in response to growing concern about the spread and potential demographic impact of HIV infection in Zimbabwe.
The Manicaland Centre began in the early 1990’s in response to growing concern at the time about the lack of data on the AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe. The project was set up to investigate the prevalence of HIV in Manicaland province and the demographic and social effects of the epidemic in the region. Initially, a small-scale prospective survey was undertaken comparing a site in Honde Valley, an area severely affected by the HIV epidemic, with a site in Rusitu Valley, a socio-demographically similar area thought to be less affected by the epidemic. The study found high HIV prevalence rates in rural areas of Zimbabwe and provided the first evidence for excess mortality due to AIDS in the country.
In 1998, a General Population Cohort Survey, was set up to investigate the prevalence of HIV in Manicaland province and the demographic and social effects of the epidemic in the region. Nearly 12,000 adults were interviewed in the baseline survey in 1998. Respondents answered questions relating to demographics, sexual behaviour and HIV prevention. A sample of blood was collected onto filter papers from each respondent and tested for HIV. Since then, five further rounds of the cohort study in Manicaland have been completed. Our questionnaire now covers diverse topics ranging from marital and sexual relationships, health and access to treatment and knowledge and awareness of HIV and AIDS.
The Centre has conducted a number of other research studies on HIV-related topics using qualitative as well as quantitative methods. These studies have included major scientific trials of interventions to reduce the spread of HIV infection due to commercial sex and to reduce the impact of the AIDS epidemic on orphans and other vulnerable children.
The Manicaland Centre for Public Health Research has got two main offices in Zimbabwe.
Besides offices in Harare, the Manicaland Centre has a central field station in Mutasa, Manicaland, and a network of sub-offices across the region.
Offices at the Biomedical Research and Training Institute in Harare (address listed below).
Field station in Mutasa District. The facility acts as a base for field work when study activities are occurring and also has a meeting space.
We exist through partnerships and collaborate with a number of stakeholders to achieve our goals.
Through close collaboration with the AIDS and TB Unit (Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care), we ensure that our activities are in line with national health research priorities, informing policy and practice. We also collaborate with and provide technical assistance to the National AIDS Council at national and district levels in developing and implementing monitoring and evaluation systems for HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe.
In partnership with the ALPHA NETWORK we work on pooled and comparative analyses of data from multiple HIV surveillance sites to investigate the epidemiology and demographic impact of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. We participate in the UNAIDS Reference Group to develop methods to generate global AIDS statistics. We also participate in the HIV Modelling Consortium, which coordinates interaction between modelling groups and policy makers. We provide empirical data for use in the development and validation of these methods.
We also work in partnership with local non-governmental organisations on a number of projects. These include the Diocese of Mutare Community Care Programme (DOMCCP) - on our current YZ-UHP! project and the Manicaland Cash Transfer Trial - and Family AIDS Caring Trust - on the trial of peer education, condom promotion and treatment of sexually transmitted infections amongst female sex workers and their clients.
The Manicaland Centre for Public Health Research
Biomedical Research and Training Institute
No. 10 Seagrave road
Telephone: +263-4-333091; 335641; 333464; 336691