Page 139 - UCT2012 Health Sciences

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Health Sciences
interventions in individual cohorts. Health system projects
have focussed on the use of lay health workers and
community-based care, and the integration of TB and HIV
services in the Western Cape, Free State and Gauteng. A
major strength of the Centre is cohort studies of patients
receiving antiretroviral therapy. This includes work with
individual cohorts in Khayelitsha and Gugulethu, through to
running an NIH-funded data centre for collaborative cohort
research combining data from 14 cohorts in South Africa.
The Centre has an excellent working relationship with the
Provincial Department of Health, with staff supporting
the conduct and analysis of the annual antenatal HIV
seroprevalence survey, the development and maintenance
of information systems to monitor HIV programmes,
and assistance with infectious disease surveillance and
outbreak investigations. The work on context-appropriate
information systems for HIV programmes has led to further
collaborations nationally, regionally and with the World
Health Organization.
The Centre has a strong multidisciplinary team of PhD
scientists and continues to be a significant resource for
epidemiology, biostatistics, infectious disease modelling
and qualitative research support within the Faculty. There
are active collaborations with a range of clinical and
laboratory departments, including with the Departments
of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Virology, Obstetrics and
Gynaecology, Child and Adolescent Health, and Medicine.
The major highlights for 2012 include:
• Associate Professor Landon Myer received the British
Association Medal (Silver). This medal is awarded to a
scientist, under the age of 40 years, who has displayed
“outstanding capability and achievements by way of
publications, discoveries or special skills”.
• Morna Cornell and Anna Grimsrud received PhD
Bursary awards from SACEMA
• Dr Leigh Johnson received 3 awards at the Actuarial
Society Conference: best presentation on risk, best
overall presentation and with together with Rob
Dorrington, the award for the best actuarial paper
published in a peer review journal. In addition he
received the South African Black Actuarial Professionals
award for contribution towards AIDS research in South
• A number of staff were invited to participate in policy
and scientific committees:
WHO Guidelines Committee for paediatric HIV
treatment (Davies/Schomaker)
Review of EMOD, an infectious disease modelling
tool funded by the Gates Foundation (Johnson)
South African National AIDS Council HIV
Prevention Technical Task Team and the Costing,
Budgeting and Health Financing Technical Task
Team (Johnson/Boulle)
WHO consultation on hormonal contraception
PMTCT Technical Working Group & National
Steering Committee, National Department of
Health (Myer)
National PMTCT guidelines review committee,
2012-present (Myer)
Board of the Centre for Medical Ethics & Law at
the University of Stellenbosch (Myer)
Organizing committee for the HIV Prevention and
Epidemiology Track of the 2013 South African
AIDS Conference (Johnson)
Chair of the 16th International Workshop on HIV
Observational Databases in Athens (Boulle)
Organising committee for the 1st SA HIV Clinicians
Society Conference in Cape Town (Boulle)
Working group on the Methodological
Investigation of Cochrane reviews of Complex
Interventions (MICCI) Project (Colvin)
Health Economics Unit
The Health Economics Unit (HEU) conducts research in
health economics and health system issues. The HEU
maintains a balance between conceptual and applied
research as well as between topics of local and international
relevance and focuses on three thematic areas of research,
namely health systems and health equity research; health
financing and the economic evaluation of disease-priority
There are currently a number of projects relating to issues
of health financing and the achievement of universal
coverage. In addition to this research work, the HEU is
active in knowledge translation through the provision of
input into the Ministerial Advisory Committee on National
Health Insurance and its various sub-committees in South
Africa. Other key policy work includes participation in the
Economics and Financing Group for the government’s new
“National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS, STIs and TB”
and the provision of scientific advice to the World Health
Organisation to look at health economics issues related to
vaccines in low- and middle-income countries.
A five-year research project (UNITAS – Universal coverage
in Tanzania and South Africa: Monitoring and evaluating
progress) entered its second year of operation in 2012. The
UNITAS project will focus on monitoring and evaluating
policy formulation and implementation processes aimed