Chifundo Zimba was the first nurse sponsored by the University of North Carolina Project-Malawi (UNC Project) to study Ph.D at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing (2011-2016).
Upon graduation in May 2016, Zimba returned to her home country (Malawi) to continue her research work with UNC Project. She is one of the 2017-18 UJMT Fogarty Global Health Fellows. UJMT is a consortium of five universities i.e. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Johns Hopkins University, Morehouse School of Medicine and Tulane University. As a fellow, Zimba is currently a principal investigator (PI) of a study that is assessing the impact of using a low-level HIV care providers to identify HIV exposed infants in Malawi. She is also a site PI of a study that is exploring ways of increasing HIV testing in men. As a Behavioral Scientist, Zimba coordinates qualitative activities of various studies at UNC-Malawi Project.
As part of her job, she has multiple studies that she works on. One of her study requires her to travel about 100 miles from her workstation.
Her professional life dates as back as 2001 when she joined the UNC Project as a research nurse for a study examining how to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV. She was the 54th employee hired, and now UNC Project has grown to more than 350 employees. The UNC Project is a partnership between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Malawi Ministry of Health to carry out research, care, and training programs in Malawi. Some of the research conducted by the UNC Project has been translated into policies that are implemented by the Malawi government and beyond. The Project also provides support for public HIV, STD and Cancer prevention programs in Malawi, some of which began as research and have since been adopted across the country.