Social Sciences 


Current Projects

Febrile Illness Evaluation in a Broad Range of Endemicities

The FIEBRE social science study, sponsored by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, aims to explore the connections between fever and antimicrobial use (AMU) in Zimbabwe, across a variety of formal and informal settings including clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, markets and homes. By conducting social research, we aim to broaden the debates around AMU and febrile illness from individual decision-making to the wider social and economic processes that give antimicrobials their prominence in everyday life.  

The IMpact of Vertical HIV infection on child and Adolescent Skeletal development in Harare, Zimbabwe

Impaired linear growth (stunting), is one of the most common manifestations of vertically-acquired HIV which can adversely impact bone and muscle development and function, particularly during adolescence – a critical period of somatic growth. We hypothesize that the accrual of bone mass in children with HIV during growth may be reduced, which will put them at increased risk of adverse musculoskeletal outcomes e.g. fracture risk earlier in life compared to

Past Projects

Bridging the Gap in HIV testing and care for children in Zimbabwe

Role of Men in accessing PMTCT Services (January – June 2011)

The study established that men’s level of knowledge on PMTCT is a key determinant in uptake of PMTCT by their spouses. It was observed that acceptance of PMTCT is contingent upon knowledge of HIV status among men. Prejudices about women affect men’s participation in PMTCT at community level and this is also extended to FCH facility level, with the female nurses being viewed as unsuitable to provide HIV testing to men. Men saw their roles in PMTCT and ANC as being confined to provision of funds to enrol for the programme, transport to and from FCH facility and buying sundries. Accompanying spouse to the FCH centre was mentioned but men do not cherish it.

The Global School Personnel Survey (GSPS) Zimbabwe 2008

The World Health Organization (WHO), the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) began development of the Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS) in 1999 to track tobacco use across countries using a common methodology and core questionnaire. The GTSS includes the collection of data through 3 surveys: the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) for youth; the Global School Personnel Survey; and the Global Health Professions Students Survey for adults. The GTSS is intended to enhance the capacity of countries to design, implement, and evaluate tobacco control and prevention programs and to monitor the key articles of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

A Baseline Survey on Knowledge, Attitudes, Behaviour and Practices on Avian Influenza in rural and urban districts in Zimbabwe (2008)

The study explored the existing situation pertaining to knowledge, attitudes, behaviour and practices regarding the spread of Avian Influenza. The study was conducted in six provinces of Zimbabwe namely Bulawayo, Harare, Midlands, Matabeleland South, Manicaland and Mashonaland West. The study population were people at most risk of Avian Influenza infection.

Community-Based Nutrition Care Programme (CBNCP) Knowledge Attitude Behaviour and Practices Study / Formative Research Study (September – December 2008)

Key findings from the study revealed that knowledge regarding the priority nutritional interventions that were associated with improved child nutrition and health was fairly high among the service providers. Communities in the study districts were aware of the critical part played by the various components enshrined in the Essential Nutrition Actions (ENA) framework in ensuring a good nutritional status for children. The study established that the CBNCP was a success.

Responses to HIV and AIDS and Gender Based Violence needs of cross-border mobile populations at the Zimbabwe-South Africa border (2007 – 2008)

The study was designed to establish and document the gender based violence and support needs among irregular migrants and vulnerable populations specifically women, adolescent girls and boys. The study was carried out at the Zimbabwe – South Africa border post of Beitbridge among men, women and 12 – 17 year old adolescent boys and girls.

Utilizing the PLACE Method in the Development, Implementation and Evaluation of HIV Prevention Efforts for the Orphan Girl Child in three Priority Prevention Areas (3 Districts) in Zimbabwe: National Action Plan for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (2007 – 2010)

The Zimbabwean government over the last few years has been putting in place national policies, such as the National Orphan Care Policy (1999) to mitigate the HIV and AIDS epidemic’s impact on children, particularly the situation of OVC. The National Orphan Care Policy led to the development of the National Action Plan (NAP) for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children whose vision was to reach out to all OVC in the country with basic services. 

Priorities for Local AIDS Control Efforts (PLACE) in Zimbabwe (2006 – 2007)

The PLACE method is a rapid monitoring tool to identify Priority Prevention Areas (PPAs), and specific venues within these areas where HIV and AIDS prevention programmes should be focused. The method focused on places where new sexual partnerships are formed, because the pattern of new partnerships in a community shapes its HIV epidemic. The studies were done in three districts of Zimbabwe namely, Hwange, Bindura and Gweru between August 2006 and September 2007. 

The Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of Interventions for the Care of Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana. (2002 – 2006)

This was a multi-country project commissioned and coordinated by the Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town (Dr Olive Shisana & Prof Leickness Simbayi) that included Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana, with Mozambique and Lesotho coming on board later during the implementation of the project. The project involved baseline studies conducted in 2003 and 2004 in Manicaland and Matabeleland South Provinces in Zimbabwe.

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