A Center of Excellence for Biomedical Research and Training in Africa

Current Research Projects

Breathe Study – Bronchopulmonary function in response to Azithromycin treatment for chronic lung disease in HIV Infected children

To investigate whether adjuvant treatment with azithromycin results in improvement in lung function in HIV-infected children with chronic lung disease, who are stable on antiretroviral therapy. In addition, the trial will investigate the intervention effect on mortality, exacerbations of lung disease, morbidity and adverse events related to azithromycin treatment .


  1. To investigate the intervention effect on exacerbations of lung disease and morbidity
  2. To investigate adverse events related to azithromycin treatment
  3. To determine the effect of azithromycin therapy on antimicrobial resistance in bacteria colonizing the respiratory tract
  4. To investigate the diversity and composition of the respiratory and gut microbiome in HIV-infected children with and without CLD, and by trial arm.

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HIV- Drug Resistance Genotypic Testing Services

Despite ART scale-up in low and middle-income countries (LMIC), HIV drug resistance testing by genotyping is often not available due to infrastructure requirements and cost. We developed local, lower cost sequencing “in house” in Harare with a Southern African Treatment and Resistance Network (SATuRN) protocol and compared the results to sequencing in California.

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Zimbabwe Information, Communication and Technology Project – ZIP

The goal of theproposal is to improve the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) infrastructure and provide capacity training for a cadre of ICT professionals to sustain and enhance programs within the College of Health Sciences at the University of Zimbabwe (UZCHS) and the Biomedical Research & Training Institute (BRTI). The program is a collaboration between the Stanford University Medical Center, the BRTI and the Research Support Center (RSC), and the Department of Health Professions Education (DHPE) at the UZCHS.

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Despite the intensified use of Insecticide Residual Spraying (IRS) and Insecticide Treated Nets, parts of Zimbabwe have been experiencing a dramatic rise in numbers of malaria cases, with Manicaland experiencing one of the worst outbreaks. The BRTI, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the National Institute for Health Research and the University of the Witwatersrand have established a field site in Mutasa to study different aspects of malaria and the mosquitoes responsible for its

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Zimbabwe Infection and Prevention Project – ZIPCOP

WHO has prioritized infection control as one of the essential components of HIV/TB prevention, care and treatment services. However in the last ten years it has been difficult to maintain an effective IPC program due to lack of funding, loss of experienced staff, lack of training and multi-tasking of available staff, s and deterioration of infrastructure. The project, working closely with CDC-Zimbabwe, aims to support the Ministry of Health and Child welfare in strengthening training, management and administrative controls of IPC programs in health institutions around Zimbabwe. In addition a refurbishment exercise will be conducted in selected health facilities with the guidance of MOHCW with the goal of reducing the risk of transmission of infections including TB in health care facilities.

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Zimbabwe TB Prevelence Survey

Main Objective:

To determine the national prevalence of bacteriologically confirmed pulmonary TB in Zimbabwean population aged ≥15years within the period 2013/ 2014

Specific Survey Objectives

  • To establish the prevalence of bacteriologically-confirmed pulmonary TB in the target population.
  • To determine the prevalence of smear positive, culture positive TB.
  • To determine the prevalence of symptoms suggestive of TB.
  • To determine the prevalence of radiological abnormalities (chest X-ray) suggestive of TB.

Tuberculosis is a significant public health problem in Zimbabwe with high morbidity and mortality rates. According to WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2012, the estimated TB incidence in 2011 was 603 cases per
100,000 population. In the same year, the estimated prevalence of TB (all forms) in Zimbabwe was 547 cases per 100,000 population. The case notification rate for all TB cases in 2011 was 318 per 100 000 population. This notification rate shows a case detection rate of 53% compared to the estimated TB burden. Tuberculosis prevalence is one of the indicators of MDGs to the Global Stop TB Plan. Therefore, there is need for countries with high TB burden to have accurate estimates of TB prevalence in order to monitor their progress towards the MDGs.

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News Updates


DATES: 16-20 July 2018
Venue: BRTI, 10 Seagrave Road, Avondale, Harare

The Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI) in collaboration with the University of
Zimbabwe Department of economic History, through the Zimbabwe Information and
Communication Technology Program (ZIP) grant from the NIH’s Fogarty HIV Research Training
program, are delighted to announce a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Training
Workshop to be held from 16-20 July 2018.

Course objectives: To strengthen evidence based decision-making and information use
through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in managing spatial data.
Course Participants: Participants will include graduate and post-graduate researchers in social
and biomedical sciences, project managers, monitoring and evaluation officers and data
managers working in research settings.

Topics on offer: The course will include presentations, discussions and practical sessions that
will cover the main areas of:

• Data analysis
• Map creation
• Adding GIS datasets from various sources
• Symbolizing data
• Presenting data for printing
• Querying datasets based on location and attributes

Facilitator: Faculty will be led by Mr. Chriswell Chigwena (MSc. Environmental Policy and
Planning, Hons. Geography and Env Science U.Z), an expert in Geographical Information Systems
and Geo-Environmental Health with over 7 years experience in the health sector.
Tuition fees: A course fee of US $100 per participant will be charged for those offered a place.
Course fees cover course materials, lunch and teas for the 5 days.
Limited registration: 25 places are available and these will be allocated on a first-come-firstserved

Application procedure: Apply directly to the course Secretariat, preferably by e-mail, by
completing the attached form together with your justification/motivation to participate.

Course Secretariat
Farirai Mutenherwa  0774600155  mutenherwaf@gmail.com
Herculena Ramjee  0773279867  hramjee@brti.co.zw

Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI)
10 Seagrave Road, Avondale, Harare
Tel: +263-4-333091, 335641 and 336691
Fax: +263-4-333464
Website: http://www.brti.co.zw

Q and A with Dr. Peter Mason: Training Researchers in Zimbabwe

Dr. Peter Mason recently retired after 21 years as Director General of the Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI), an independent institution he cofounded in Zimbabwe in 1995 to develop research skills in southern Africa. In 2005, Fogarty awarded BRTI the first of two, 5-year International Clinical, Operational and Health Services Research and Training Award (ICOHRTA) AIDS/TB Research Training Program grants. BRTI used this funding to develop a Zimbabwean postgraduate training program in HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis research.

How has Fogarty built research capacity in Zimbabwe?

Without Fogarty, postgraduate clinical training in Zimbabwe would have collapsed. When we started the ICOHRTA in 2005, Zimbabwe had billion-percent inflation and no access to foreign currency to bring anything into the country, including materials you need to do science. Doctors, nurses, lecturers, teachers were going abroad. People couldn’t afford to go to hospital, so the wards in many teaching hospitals were empty and clinical teaching was affected.

ICOHRTA allowed us to pay postgraduate students U.S. dollar stipends to complete projects in AIDS, TB and opportunistic infections, and to pay their internet charges – which in Zimbabwe are among the most expensive in Africa. In 10 years, we’ve supported 54 postgraduate students conducting research in areas including the interactions between antiretrovirals and traditional herbs, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and TB diagnosis in HIV patients, to name a few. Thirty-three of the students published at least one paper by the time the program ended in 2015. It’s thanks to Fogarty that we were able to keep them going.

Clinical Trials

Our Future

With the contributions from a dedicated and professional staff complement, BRTI has achieved  20 years of continuing growth. From its inception in 1995, the BRTI has strived to become a a centre for excellence in health research and training in Africa. We are confident that the philosophy behind the formation of BRTI, that African scientists must take responsibility for improving their own working environment, was correct. We predict that, in spite of a degree of economic uncertainty in Zimbabwe, the gains that have been made during these years can be consolidated and expanded. We look forward to the future with confidence.

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