Page 116 - Faculty of Health Sciences

Basic HTML Version

UCT Research Report '11
• Two senior staff members obtained their PhDs and
one junior staff member obtained her MPH.
• NRF postdoctoral research fellow
• A wide range of research collaborators and other
visitors visited the Unit and included Dr Grossman
from Ibis Reproductive Health, USA, Dr Joanne
Mantell, HIV Center, Columbia University, USA and
Dr Glen Wagner, RAND Corporation, Non-profit
Research Policy Institute, Santa Monica, California,
• The Unit also continued to host a study abroad
programme from New York University in collaboration
with Prof Sally Guttmacher, Professor of Public Health
and Director of Master’s in Public Health Program
in Community Health, New York University.
• Continued to teach on the Stanford University
Overseas Study Program on Public and Community
Health in Sub-Saharan Africa.
• Continued to host the Global Doctors For Choice
program in Africa
• We have been successful in securing funding from
the WHO for two studies, one exploring ways of
utilizing innovative methods such as mobile cell phone
technology for health messaging and developing and
validating a referral toolkit to be used by community
health workers to assess women’s eligibility for early
medical abortion.
• NIH funded collaborative study with Columbia
University involving a structural intervention to
integrate sexual and reproductive health into HIV care
was completed at the end of 2011.
• The Unit has an excellent working relationship with
the Provincial and National Departments of Health,
with staff forming part of advisory committees
on the National Task Team revising the National
Contraceptive Guidelines and the National Task team
on the implementation of the Cervical Screening
• URC Quality Assurance Review of the WHRU in
December 2011. This review was extremely well
received with positive feedback.
Health Economics Unit (HEU)
TheHealth 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 areas.
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.
A five-year research project (UNITAS – Universal coverage
in Tanzania and South Africa: Monitoring and evaluating
progress) began in 2011. The UNITAS project will focus
on monitoring and evaluating policy formulation and
implementation processes aimed at achieving universal
health coverage in South Africa and Tanzania. The project
will undertake monitoring mainly at the district level, with
some monitoring and evaluation at the national level.
It aims to support implementation processes and will
establish an ‘early warning system’ of implementation
difficulties. It is a collaborative, EU-funded project with 2
other South African institutions, a Tanzanian institution and
2 European institutions.
The Global Network for Health Equity (GHNE) was initiated
in 2011 and will enable comparative and collaborative work
across three continents to advance equitable universal
health coverage. It draws on 3 existing networks: EQUITAP
(Equity in Asia-Pacific Health systems, an Asia-Pacific
Research Partnership); LANET (The Latin American and
Caribbean Research Network on Financial Protection
and Health Observatory); SHIELD (Strategies for Health
Insurance for Equity in Less Developed Countries, an
African network that the HEU co-ordinates). It is funded
by the IDRC.
The HEU is supporting work being undertaken in Kenya,
Uganda and Zambia that is critically evaluating patterns of
health care financing and benefits from the use of health
services, to provide an evidence base for promoting
equitable health systems in these countries. The project
was implemented in 2010 and will continue until 2012
with funding by the International Development Research
Centre (IDRC) for Uganda and Zambia; and funding for
Kenya from the Wellcome Trust. The HEU is working with
the following partners on this project: the Kenyan Medical
Research Institute, HealthNet Consult in Uganda and the
Department of Economics at the University of Zambia. The
main role of the HEU is to provide research and technical
The DST/National Research Foundation South African
Research Chairholder in Health and Wealth focuses on
the inter-play of health and wealth in the South African
context and the impact of a range of government
policies on health. Researchers contextualised the
social determinants of health within an African context
to increase awareness about this issue and to take into
account health equity issues to address the root causes
of socioeconomic health inequalities. Another key area
of research relates to providing a strong evidence base
to contribute to current policy debates on health care
financing reform. The Chair will run until 2012 in this
current phase.
The Researching Equity in Access to Health Care (REACH)
project, initiated in 2007, focuses on how health systems
could contribute more effectively to achieving development