To Fix Health Care, Some Study Developing World was the provocative title of a Wall Street Journal article on July 2, 2009. The article discusses two projects at UAB founded on the principles of care delivery based on experiences in Zambia: “Project Connect” and “ZamBama.”
The theme of these two projects is that “we can learn from our colleagues in foreign environments, and those learning experiences between the U.S. and developing countries can and should be bidirectional, from us to them and from them to us.”
ZamBama aims to develop an innovative community-based participatory approach that will utilize two populations that suffer substantially from HIV and AIDS-related malignancies, African American populations in the Delta of Mississippi, Black Belt of Alabama, and Africans in the country of Zambia.
They have already established a community-based infrastructure in all three areas and, through this supplement, will establish a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach that will engage members of the community from each area and investigators from the Deep South Network for Cancer Control (DSNCC), Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC), the UAB Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), and the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ).
The ultimate purpose of this consortium will be to develop a CBPR program that establishes an effective way to engage African and underserved Southern US communities in HIV awareness, stigma reduction, voluntary HIV testing and engagement in care, active and appropriate prevention and early detection of HIV-related malignancies, and proper treatment, when necessary.
–Establish an organizational infrastructure to conduct a one-year planning process that will form the foundation for a research program to insure underserved minorities in the Delta, Black Belt, and Zambia receive HIV testing and HIV-related cancer prevention, early detection and/or treatment.
–Host two meetings (five to seven days), one each in the US and in Zambia, of investigators and community members (Delta, Black Belt, and Zambia) to “learn from each other” and our unique experiences.
–Conduct a needs/assets assessment to evaluate infrastructure addressing HIV testing and HIV-related cancer prevention, early detection and/or treatment at three levels – (1) community, (2) investigators, and (3) institution.
–Develop a CBPR plan to institute a research program to insure underserved minorities in the Delta, Black Belt, and Zambia receive appropriate HIV testing and HIV-related cancer prevention, early detection, and/or treatment.