Prof Godfrey Biemba

MBChB (UNZA), DTM&H (Liverpool), M.Sc (London)


Prof Godfrey Biemba is currently Director and Chief Executive Officer for the National Health Research Authority (NHRA) and Adjunct Research Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Public Health, USA.

Among his academic and professional qualifications are: A Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Zambia, a postgraduate Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Liverpool, UK, and a Master of Science Degree in Public Health from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, London, UK.

Prof Biemba has over 34 years’ experience in the health sector as a medical practitioner, researcher, and public health manager. The focus of his past 28 years of his time has been conducting various types of health related research, ranging from clinical trials to community based evaluations, impact evaluations of public health programs, situational analyses in the areas of malaria, health systems, orphans and vulnerable children, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), road safety, maternal, neonatal, and child health, and HIV/AIDS. His public health research has involved the use of various quantitative and qualitative research methods. In addition to conducting his own research, he has spent a lot of time building research capacity through teaching and mentorship of young scientists conducting clinical trials, community based trials, including cluster randomized trials, health systems research and Protection of Research Participants (Research Ethics), Good Clinical Practice (GCP) in the conduct of research. He has been a clinical trials study monitor and has sat on data safety monitoring board (DSMB). He has supervised and mentored masters and PhD students in public health related theses. He has also played a key role in the development of research policies and strategies in Zambia, including the setting of the first national health research agenda in Zambia in 1999 as he was the first of the three authors of a document called “Zambia national health research agenda: National health research priorities and recommendations for action (1999)” under the then Central Board of Health (CBOH) Zambia. Recently he led a team of experts to develop the second National Health Research Agenda (Priorities) for Zambia. The document is entitled, ‘The Zambia National Health Research Agenda 2018-2021: Setting the direction for evidence based decision making without leaving anyone behind.” He also led a team of experts in early 2008 to develop the first Guidelines for Research in Traditional Medicine in Zambia, adapted from guidelines from the World Health Organization. In 2017-2018 he led another team of experts and stakeholders to update the document entitled, “Guidelines for Research in Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine in Zambia.”

Prof Biemba has been a Research Assistant Professor of Global Health at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) from 2008 to 2017 and Country Director of the Zambian Center for Applied Health Research and Development (ZCAHRD) Limited from 2010 to 2017. From September 2017, he was appointed Adjunct Research Assistant Professor of Global Health at Boston University School of Public Health. In October 2017, he was appointed Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Research Authority (NHRA) in Zambia. The NHRA is a statutory body responsible for regulating and promoting all health related research in Zambia, which includes registering and accrediting researchers, research institutions and research ethics committees or institutional review boards.

He has over 80 publications, out of which 49 are peer reviewed articles published in international peer reviewed journals.As of August 5, 2019, he achieved a ResearchGate Publications Score of 31.17. His research gate h-index is 17 (excluding self-citations). His Google scholar citations h-index is 19 and i10-index is 23.



  • Published on 7/4/2019

    Lori JR, Perosky J, Munro-Kramer ML, Veliz P, Musonda G, Kaunda J, Boyd CJ, Bonawitz R, Biemba G, Ngoma T, Scott N. Maternity waiting homes as part of a comprehensive approach to maternal and newborn care: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2019 Jul 04; 19(1):228. PMID: 31272402.

    Read at: PubMed

  • Published on 5/15/2019

    Mesic A, Halim N, MacLeod W, Haker C, Mwansa M, Biemba G. Facilitators and Barriers to Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy and Retention in Care Among Adolescents Living with HIV/AIDS in Zambia: A Mixed Methods Study. AIDS Behav. 2019 May 15. PMID: 31093820.

    Read at: PubMed

  • Published on 4/1/2019

    Yeboah-Antwi K, MacLeod WB, Biemba G, Sijenyi P, Höhne A, Verstraete L, McCallum CM, Hamer DH. Improving Sanitation and Hygiene through Community-Led Total Sanitation: The Zambian Experience. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2019 Apr; 100(4):1005-1012. PMID: 30793687.

    Read at: PubMed

  • Published on 1/1/2019

    Bonawitz R, McGlasson KL, Kaiser JL, Ngoma T, Lori J, Boyd C, Biemba G, Hamer DH, Scott NA. Maternity Waiting Home Use by HIV-positive Pregnant Women in Zambia: Opportunity for Improved Prevention of Maternal to Child Transmission of HIV. Int J MCH AIDS. 2019; 8(1):1-10. PMID: 30899603.

    Read at: PubMed

  • Published on 11/9/2018

    Kaiser JL, Fong RM, Hamer DH, Biemba G, Ngoma T, Tusing B, Scott NA. How a woman's interpersonal relationships can delay care-seeking and access during the maternity period in rural Zambia: An intersection of the Social Ecological Model with the Three Delays Framework. Soc Sci Med. 2019 Jan; 220:312-321. PMID: 30500609.

    Read at: PubMed

  • Published on 8/10/2018

    Scott NA, Kaiser JL, Vian T, Bonawitz R, Fong RM, Ngoma T, Biemba G, Boyd CJ, Lori JR, Hamer DH, Rockers PC. Impact of maternity waiting homes on facility delivery among remote households in Zambia: protocol for a quasiexperimental, mixed-methods study. BMJ Open. 2018 08 10; 8(8):e022224. PMID: 30099401.

    Read at: PubMed

  • Published on 6/14/2018

    Sivalogan K, Semrau KEA, Ashigbie PG, Mwangi S, Herlihy JM, Yeboah-Antwi K, Banda B, Grogan C, Biemba G, Hamer DH. Influence of newborn health messages on care-seeking practices and community health behaviors among participants in the Zambia Chlorhexidine Application Trial. PLoS One. 2018; 13(6):e0198176. PMID: 29902234.

    Read at: PubMed

  • Published on 3/15/2018

    Scott NA, Vian T, Kaiser JL, Ngoma T, Mataka K, Henry EG, Biemba G, Nambao M, Hamer DH. Listening to the community: Using formative research to strengthen maternity waiting homes in Zambia. PLoS One. 2018; 13(3):e0194535. PMID: 29543884.

    Read at: PubMed

  • Published on 3/12/2018

    Yan LD, Mwale J, Straitz S, Biemba G, Bhutta Z, Ross JF, Mwananyanda L, Nambao M, Ngwakum P, Genovese E, Banda B, Akseer N, Yeboah-Antwi K, Rockers PC, Hamer DH. Equity dimensions of the availability and quality of reproductive, maternal and neonatal health services in Zambia. Trop Med Int Health. 2018 04; 23(4):433-445. PMID: 29457318.

    Read at: PubMed

  • Published on 10/10/2017

    Henry EG, Thea DM, Hamer DH, DeJong W, Musokotwane K, Chibwe K, Biemba G, Semrau K. The impact of a multi-level maternal health programme on facility delivery and capacity for emergency obstetric care in Zambia. Glob Public Health. 2018 10; 13(10):1481-1494. PMID: 28994352.

    Read at: PubMed

View 54 more publications:View full profile at BUMC