HE²RO 2023 ANNUAL REPORT

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In 2023, the Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office (HE²RO) continued to expand its research and evaluation projects in South Africa and neighbouring countries. Some highlights of the year are noted below.

A follow on to the Indlela: Behavioural Insights for Better Health project was awarded led by the team at HE²RO. This award will now see the Indlela unit expanding its reach to other countries within the region and extending their behavioural hub (B-Hub) cohort with the addition of the creation of a new behavioural lab (B-Lab), further enabling the rapid testing and prototyping of behavioural nudges and interventions. In response to a request from the National Department of Health, HE²RO was appointed to conduct a rapid evaluation of the Central Chronic Medicines Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) program from a financial and economic perspective as well as looking at patient outcomes. This work has been complimented by the studies currently undertaken in our AMBIT project which seeks to understand costs and outcomes of differentiated service delivery models.

HE²RO released an updated report for the South African HIV Investment Case, which aims to inform policy makers on the optimal, most cost-effective, mix of HIV interventions, both under the current budget constraint and without consideration for the budget. This has generated substantial interest from policy makers and funders, especially in light of recent proposed health budget cuts.

HE²RO played a key role in organising and participating in a number of panels, sessions and satellites at the SA AIDS 2023 in Durban with 10 posters, 8 orals and 5 satellites and workshops.

In 2023, HE²RO (Nozipho Musakwa and Denise Evans) was part of the Child Health Priorities Association (CHPA) Executive Committee and CHPA conference organizing committee and facilitated the oral abstract research session where 15 oral abstracts were presented. The CHPA also hosted a series of CHPA webinars and HE²RO (Nozipho Musakwa and Denise Evans) co-chaired one of these on “How Ward-based primary health care outreach teams (WBPHCOTs) benefit children in communities in South Africa”.  The webinar had 103 attendees and the recording is available from the CHPA website https://childhealthpriorities.co.za/

By the end of the year, HE²RO had over 27 grants for research projects and associated studies underway. Key projects underway at HE2RO are described below.

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