Empowering Through Research


The National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) has always valued, participated and performed research dating back to 1980. The research efforts by NBSZ can conveniently be put into two periods, which is the period before 2001, and the period after 2001. Before 2001, NBSZ did not have a department that was dedicated to coordinate and manage research activities. This resulted in research becoming compromised when competing for resources with other functions of the Service. It was only in 2001 that the NBSZ introduced on its structure, the Office of Research and Data and then in 2007 the Research, Development and Data Management (RDDM) till 2010. The department was re-branded in 2011 to its current name of the Planning, Information and Research (PIR) Department. Major administrative milestones, which were achieved by the research department, include the development of the research policy in 2001 (renamed in 2013 to Research and Development Policy) and the establishment of research committees (2006). The NBSZ has disseminated its research findings through presentations and publications in internationally recognised peer reviewed journals, as well as in local medical journals. It was during presentations at international conferences that saw some other African Countries adopting NBSZ’s research model. In order to share the Service research and development activities, this webpage has been introduced. This will help the scientific community to appreciate and understand the research activities of NBSZ.

Research materials

a) Africa Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT) 2014 Congress – Summary

The 7th AfSBT Congress was held from 30th July to 2nd August 2014 in the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The NBSZ successfully chaired the Local Scientific Committee which worked with the International Scientific Committee to prepare a sound scientific programme that addressed the needs of stakeholders on blood and blood products services in Africa and beyond. The AfSBT Scientific programme was composed of four plenary, fifteen parallel, poster and sponsored parallel sessions. The parallel sessions were put into the categories of haemovigilance, clinical transfusion management, infectious disease, haematology, oncology, paediatric issues in blood transfusion, recent advances in laboratory medical science, ethics in laboratory blood services, quality systems, accreditation, management of sustainable blood services, blood banking and transfusion science monitoring and evaluation, information management systems as well as plasma products / haemophilia. The 7th AfSBT Congress had 130 high quality abstracts accepted from different thematic areas that were submitted by researchers from all over the world and NBSZ contributed to 13% of these abstracts. The proceedings of this congress can be found at

b) European Union Funded T-REC

The T-REC Consortium (, which has a goal of building research capacity in Africa, was launched in Ghana and Zimbabwe for the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2015. NBSZ has demonstrated its interest and commitment to research by being a dedicated partner of the T-REC Consortium. To date eighteen (18) students have successfully completed the Diploma in Project Design and Management (DPDM) and were awarded certificates by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine on 29th May 2014 and held their graduation ceremony in August 2014. There are 22 bursary students whose researches are at various stages and are registered with local universities. Two PhD students are due to complete their studies in 2015.

c) Research Consultative Review Workshop

The NBSZ hosted a Research Consultative Review Workshop on 6th February 2015. The workshop sought opinions and suggestions; consolidate and obtain consensus on key strategies on which courses of action will best serve to encourage and support research activities in Zimbabwe in the future and assist in optimising the blood safety programme in Zimbabwe through locally generated evidence based research, which will dictate policy direction. The final report of this review is available here: (upload the final report here: the pdf was circulated)

Year Publication
1971 Lowe, R. F., Gadd, K. G., Chitiyo, M. E., Emmanuel, J. & Robertson, T. The MN, P, Kell and Duffy blood group systems of the Zezuru tribe of Rhodesia. Cent Afr J Med 17, 207–209 (1971).
1998 Emmanuel, J. C., Bassett, M. T., Smith, H. J. & Jacobs, J. A. Pooling of sera for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing: an economical method for use in developing countries. J. Clin. Pathol. 41, 582–585 (1988)
1991 Thornton, C. A., Latif, A. S. & Emmanuel, J. C. Guillain-Barré syndrome associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection in Zimbabwe. Neurology 41, 812–815 (1991).
1991 Emmanuel, J. C. & Smith, H. J. Establishing a CMV antibody negative panel of blood donors. Cent Afr J Med 37, 192–194 (1991).
1992 Bassett, M. T., Latif, A. S., Katzenstein, D. A. & Emmanuel, J. C. Sexual behavior and risk factors for HIV infection in a group of male factory workers who donated blood in Harare, Zimbabwe. J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr. 5, 556–559 (1992).
1994 Adewuyi, J. O., Gwanzura, C. & Mvere, D. Characteristics of anti-A and anti-B in black Zimbabweans. Vox Sang. 67, 307–309 (1994).
1994 Emmanuel, J. C. Blood transfusion systems in economically restricted countries. Vox Sang. 67 Suppl 3, 267–269 (1994).
1995 McFarland, W., Kahn, J. G., Katzenstein, D. A., Mvere, D. & Shamu, R. Deferral of blood donors with risk factors for HIV infection saves lives and money in Zimbabwe. J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr. Hum. Retrovirol. 9, 183–192 (1995).
1996 Mvere, D. et al. Rapid and simple hepatitis assays: encouraging results from a blood donor population in Zimbabwe. Bull. World Health Organ. 74, 19–24 (1996).
1996 Mvere, D. et al. Strong preference ‘to donate’ among HIV-positive blood donors in Zimbabwe. Lancet 347, 902 (1996).
1997 McFarland, W., Mvere, D., Shandera, W. & Reingold, A. Epidemiology and prevention of transfusion-associated human immunodeficiency virus transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. Vox Sang. 72, 85–92 (1997).
1996 Adewuyi, J. O., Coutts, A. M., Levy, L. & Lloyd, S. E. Haemophilia care in Zimbabwe. Cent Afr J Med 42, 153–156 (1996).
1998 McFarland, W., Mvere, D., Shamu, R. & Katzenstein, D. Risk factors for HIV seropositivity among first-time blood donors in Zimbabwe. Transfusion 38, 279–284 (1998).
1999 Chitiyo, M. E. Informed consent for blood transfusion. Cent Afr J Med 45, 189–190 (1999).