Recent Publications

Adapting research to conduct a Discreet Choice Experiment (DCE) in the context of COVID-19 in Johannesburg, South Africa

Why we did this study The COVID-19 pandemic had unprecedented effects on public health research globally. This affected conventional approaches for collecting primary data. We discuss experiences including ethical implications, challenges and opportunities presented whilst trying to conduct a survey and discreet choice experiment (DCE) under the COVID-19 lockdown 

“I’m living my life now and no longer crying like before”. Implementation lessons from the Common Element Treatment Approach in Gauteng, SA: Targeting vulnerable populations.

Background: One barrier to ART treatment adherence in South Africa is intimate partner violence (IPV), which can also affect mental health. The Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) is an evidence-based intervention that simultaneously addresses multiple mental health and other related problems, including IPV that can be delivered by lay-counsellors and adapted to meet an individual’s psychological needs. While the intervention has been shown to be successful in reducing 

Costs associated with Covid-19 hospitalization during the first wave at a tertiary-level hospital in Gauteng, South Africa

BACKGROUND The first wave of COVID-19 infection in South Africa began in March 2020, peaked in July of 2020 and ran until approximately the end of October 2020. Estimates of the cost of COVID-19 care during this period, which was characterized by increasing cases and hospital admissions, are critical for building both health-system resilience and improving responsiveness in future health crises. There is however a dearth of cost estimates for pandemic related hospitalisation in the 

Using Health Technology Assessment to Assist Government Decision-Making Regarding Novel Interventions in South Africa: Applications from PrEP to COVID-19 Therapeutics

Context National Health Insurance (NHI) aims to provide universal healthcare coverage for all Significant step towards achieving equitable healthcare access Health Technology Assessment (HTA) provides critical evidence to support policy and funding decisions Multidisciplinary process to assess the value and impact of health technologies Especially important in the context of NHI Recently developed HTA framework and methods guide aims to assist analysts in preparation for 

Following the science’: the role of an independent advisory structure in the COVID-19 pandemic response and beyond

Background As the COVID-19 pandemic spread in 2020, many governments across the globe put structures in place to access rapid independent scientific evidence. The South African Minister of Health established an advisory committee in March 2020 to provide high-level strategic advice. This technical guidance, developed as topic-specific ‘advisories’, was expected to be context-specific and based on the best available evidence, locally and internationally. The authors developing the 

Understanding engagement in HIV care among pregnant women accessing antenatal services in Johannesburg, South Africa

Background South Africa implemented Option B+ in 2015 to initiate all pregnant women living with HIV on lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) Pregnancy has historically been an important portal of entry to HIV care among women living with HIV Early access to HIV care impacts maternal outcomes and the risk of vertical transmission of HIV The impact of the implementation of Option B+ on engagement in HIV care prior to pregnancy is 

Monitoring for Advanced Disease in the UTT Era: Trends in CD4 Count Testing Volumes Among Patients Presenting for HIV Care in South Africa

Motivation South Africa eliminated CD4 criteria for ART eligibility in 2016 under its Universal Test and Treat (UTT) policy In September 2017, the general UTT policy was updated with a directive to initiate ART on the day of HIV diagnosis (same-day initiation—SDI) Since the expansion of HIV treatment eligibility with UTT, first CD4 test volumes have declined in 6 Sub Saharan African countries (Zaniewski et al) However, CD4 count at entry into care remains an important marker of