Page 115 - Faculty of Health Sciences

Basic HTML Version

FACULTY OF health scienceS
Legal Resources Centre, Labour and Enterprise Policy
Research Group and the Department of Occupational
and Environmental Health at UKZN. IHRG also engaged
with the DoL nationally and provincially around the
access to DoL information (reports on injury and disease
statistics and prohibition notices). We are working with an
independent lawyer in taking up a case regarding families’
rights to access the DoL reports submitted to the NPA in
relation to work-related fatalities.
Research activity of IHRG has contributed towards the
production and distribution of a variety of popular and
accessible resources (including posters, newsletters,
research reports, training workshop materials, and
handbooks) for trade unions and their members on issues
of occupational health and safety. IHRG contributes to
health and safety and labour programmes on radio and
television. IHRG’s website is
Centre for Infectious Disease
Epidemiology and Research (CIDER)
The Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and
Research (CIDER) is a multi-disciplinary research group
with the following objectives:
• To conduct public health research integrating
laboratory, clinical, epidemiological, social science
and health systems research into infectious diseases
that have high priority in southern Africa (in particular
HIV, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections)
in order to improve the prevention and management
of these diseases.
• To be a service-led research entity, maintaining very
strong links with health services at all levels, and
to assist policy makers, programme and services
managers with the implementation of the results of
• To be a centre of expertise in the surveillance
and monitoring of infectious diseases and infectious
disease programmes and services, and in the conduct
of robust observational research based on routine
data sources.
• To provide postgraduate teaching and supervision in
The Centre has a strong track record in researching
strategies for HIV prevention. Historically the Centre
ran field sites for two large multicentre HIV prevention
trials, one for a candidate vaginal microbicide, and
the other testing the efficacy of twice daily acyclovir
suppressive therapy in preventing HIV transmission
among heterosexual HIV-discordant couples in which
the HIV-infected partner is Herpes Simplex Virus-2
seropositive. Furthering the focus on HIV prevention the
Centre is developing tools and indicators for measuring
and evaluating PMTCT programmes in resource limited
settings, and is testing novel service strategies for further
improving the effectiveness of PMTCT interventions.
A further focus of the work of the Centre is in the area of
treatment and service delivery for HIV and tuberculosis.
This encompasses an expanding portfolio of health
systems research as well as the clinical epidemiology
of treatment 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
Women’s Health Research Unit (WHRU)
The WHRU enjoys local, national and international
research standing especially in the areas of sexual
and reproductive health and gender issues. The Unit is
involved in research, teaching, technical health service
support, and advocacy in the area of women’s health. It
is made up of a multidisciplinary team of researchers with
expertise in public health, epidemiology, psychology,
sociology and anthropology. Focus on women’s health
and on gender and health is aligned with local and global
challenges in addressing the health needs of women.
The Unit’s research focus can be summarised into
three thematic areas: Socio- behavioural research;
health services operational research and quantitative/
epidemiological research.
The Women’s Health Research Unit continued its research
work in the field of women’s reproductive health. Notable
achievements and activities in 2011 included: