RENOWNED HIV and sexual reproductive health rights expert, Lois Chingandu has joined Frontline AIDS, a leading HIV and AIDS response organisation as its new Director of Evidence and Influence .
By Michael Gwarisa
Lois joins Frontline AIDS at a pivotal time for the organisation after serving at the helm of SAFAIDS Zimbabwe as Executive Director. The organisation, Frontline rebranded in February 2019 and is set to launch a new Global Plan of Action later this year and Lois together with her new team will play a central role in generating evidence to support the most effective HIV programming and in engaging and influencing national and regional governments, international donors and partners.
I am excited to be joining an organisation that shares my commitment to ensuring that those on the margins of society will be front and centre of the HIV response,” said Lois.
“Frontline AIDS’ renewed purpose and upcoming plan of action will focus our attention on the most marginalised people, many of whom are at the highest risk of acquiring HIV. We have a long way to go but I believe that through our partners on the ground we can strive for a future free from AIDS for everyone, everywhere.”
Lois brings to the organisation more than 20 years of hands-on leadership experience on HIV, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), gender activism and civil society engagement to the position. In her most recent role as Executive Director of SAfAIDS, Lois has built an organisation with a global reputation for high quality HIV and SRHR programming and effective regional and national advocacy.
Throughout her career, Lois has worked with local organisations to deliver major programmes supported by international donors in the public and private sectors. Much of her work in Zimbabwe has also focused on strengthening community-based organisations to ensure they are able to provide long-term support for people living with HIV. Lois has a long-standing commitment to ensuring the rights of marginalised people key populations, women and girls form the cornerstone of an effective HIV response.
“Lois brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge that will have a tremendous impact on our work over the coming years,” said Christine Stegling, Frontline AIDS Executive Director. “She will bring a new perspective to our leadership team and, through her years of hard work at community, national and regional level, be a strong voice for the communities we work with both inside and outside our organisation.”
A midwife by profession, Lois holds a Diploma, Bachelors and a Masters’ degree in Adult Education specialised in community development from the University of Zimbabwe, a summer school certificate from Harvard University School of Public Health on Managing Health Programs in Developing Countries and several certificates on health communication, family planning and counselling. Lois has co-authored and contributed towards the development of books, manuals, and toolkits and has presented at many international conferences on HIV and AIDS.
Lois has served on a number of high-level boards, including ICASA, the UN High Level Task Force for Women and Girls, the Robert Carr Fund’s Initiation Task Force and the UN African think tank on Human Rights and Justice. She also served on the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council and is a member of the International AIDS Society.
Lois will be based at Frontline AIDS’ Cape Town office.