• Home
  • »
  • News
  • »
  • Visiting Fellow Report: Francis Mhimbira

Visiting Fellow Report: Francis Mhimbira

Monday, 24 Apr 2017

From 27th February to 10th March 2017, the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (CIDG) editorial base welcomed Dr. Francis Mhimbira as a visiting fellow. In this report, he provides an insight into his involvement with the CIDG and his time at the CIDG editorial base in Liverpool.

Dr. Mhimbira is an epidemiologist and a research scientist based at the Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), Tanzania, where he is currently the Head of Interventions and Clinical Trials Department. He works within the intervention thematic group and conducts research on tuberculosis (TB) clinical trials for new drugs and vaccines. His work also involves evaluating new TB diagnostic tools and epidemiological studies on TB and co-infections (such as HIV, helminth, and respiratory pathogens). Francis also does operational research to improve TB case detection and improve TB treatment outcomes. 


Dr Mhimbira with Paul Garner, CIDG Co-ordinating Editor

How did you first become involved with the CIDG?

I first became involved through a collaboration between LSTM and IHI, and as TB researcher, I was asked to collaborate with CIDG on the Cochrane Review 'Interventions to increase tuberculosis case detection at primary healthcare or community level services'.

What were the objectives of this visit to the CIDG editorial base?

  1. To review the updated literature search for potential studies to be included in the review
  2. To extract data from identified studies to be included in the review
  3. To do data analysis
  4. To respond to the reviewers’ comments after the first editorial review

Who have you met with at the CIDG/outside CIDG to help attain your objectives during your visit?

I met with Luis Cuevas and Russell Dacombe, the review co-authors who helped reviewing the responses to reviewers’ comments. The co-authors also helped with screening of studies to be included into the review.

How has visiting the CIDG editorial base helped development of your protocol/review?

I have received statistical support that has improved the data analysis. Also, I have assessed the quality of evidence of included studies and updated the 'Summary of findings' tables. The co-authors have provided feedback on the review.

What were the main results/outputs of your visit?

We managed to include all additional studies to the review, finalized the analysis, and completed updating the 'Summary of findings' tables

What further work will need to be undertaken?

We, the review author team, will rewrite the results and discussion sections of the review. Also, we'll finalize the responses to reviewers’ comments. Then we'll submit the Cochrane Review draft for editorial review.

What do you like about the city of Liverpool?

It is a very lively city with good historic places to visit.


The CIDG editorial base is located at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, UK. The CIDG is led by Professor Paul Garner (Co-ordinating Editor) and Anne-Marie Stephani (Managing Editor). Over 600 authors from some 52 countries contribute to the preparation of the Cochrane Reviews. They are supported by an international team of Editors, each with topic or methodological expertise. 

The CIDG’s main areas of work are on determination of the effects of interventions on the prevention or treatment infectious diseases of relevance to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and neglected tropical diseases. The aims of the CIDG are to impact on policy and research in tropical diseases through the production of high quality and relevant systematic reviews, and to lead developments in review quality improvement and effective dissemination of findings.