“Ukatamanga weka utamangisa, tikatamanga awili, tifikapatali" - When you run alone, you run fast. When you run together, you run further - Zambian Proverb

Research and Training Programme

Autopsy Studies

In 2002 UNZA-UCLMS conducted the largest autopsy study of children in sub-Saharan Africa ever performed (Chintu et al.. 2002), to resolve several clinical and epidemiological controversies in the management of respiratory infections in HIV-positive and negative children in Africa. Results of this study provided invaluable information for governments and the World Health Organization on the aetiology of  respiratory deaths. Pneumocystis Jirovecci pneumonia (PCJ), Tuberculosis (TB) and human cytomegalovirus pneumonia (HCMV pneumonia), previously  thought to be unimportant in African children, were found to be common causes of death. These findings lead to highly effective interventions (Chintu et al.. 2004), yet mortality rates among HIV infected and HIV exposed children are still high, despite widespread availability of anti-bacterial and anti-mycobacterial therapeutics.

A decade on, we are following up this study with a more comprehensive set of autopsy studies, funded by the UBS Optimus Foundation. This time around, UNZA-UCLMS is looking at both paediatric and adult deaths at the University Teaching Hospital, to determine missed causes of death and inform on new diagnostic and treatment needs. 

Burden of respiratory tract infections at post mortem in Zambian children. Bates M, Shibemba A, Mudenda V, Chimoga C, Tembo J, Kabwe M, Chilufya M, Hoelscher M, Maeurer M, Sinyangwe S, Mwaba P, Kapata N, Zumla A. BMC Med. 2016 Jul 1;14(1):99

Burden of tuberculosis at post mortem in inpatients at a tertiary referral centre in sub-Saharan Africa: a prospective descriptive autopsy study. Bates M, Mudenda V, Shibemba A, Kaluwaji J, Tembo J, Kabwe M, Chimoga C, Chilukutu L, Chilufya M, Kapata N, Hoelscher M, Maeurer M, Mwaba P, Zumla A. Lancet Infect Dis. 2015 Mar 9

Deaths due to respiratory tract infections in Africa: a review of autopsy studies. Bates M, Mudenda V, Mwaba P, Zumla A. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2013 May;19(3):229-37.

New global estimates of malaria deaths. Bates M, O'Grady J, Mudenda V, Shibemba A, Zumla A. Lancet. 2012 Aug 11;380(9841):560-1.

Tuberculosis and tuberculosis/HIV/AIDS-associated mortality in Africa: the urgent need to expand and invest in routine and research autopsies. Mudenda V, Lucas S, Shibemba A, O'Grady J, Bates M, Kapata N, Schwank S, Mwaba P, Atun R, Hoelscher M, Maeurer M, Zumla A.

J Infect Dis. 2012 May 15;205 Suppl 2:S340-6.

Lung diseases at necropsy in African children dying from respiratory illnesses: a descriptive necropsy study. Chintu C, Mudenda V, Lucas S, Nunn A, Lishimpi K, Maswahu D, Kasolo F, Mwaba P, Bhat G, Terunuma H, Zumla A; UNZA-UCLMS Project Paediatric Post-mortem Study Group. Lancet. 2002 Sep 28;360(9338):985-90.

Necropsies in African children: consent dilemmas for parents and guardians. Lishimpi K, Chintu C, Lucas S, Mudenda V, Kaluwaji J, Story A, Maswahu D, Bhat G, Nunn AJ, Zumla A. Arch Dis Child. 2001 Jun;84(6):463-7.