All Journal Articles

The role of modelling and analytics in South African COVID-19 planning and budgeting

The South African COVID-19 Modelling Consortium (SACMC) was established in late March 2020 to support planning and budgeting for COVID-19 related healthcare in South Africa. We developed several tools in response to the needs of decision makers in the different stages of the epidemic, allowing the South African government to plan several months 

Perceptions of causes and treatment of mental illness among traditional health practitioners in Johannesburg, South Africa

Mental disorders are among the most poorly treated illnesses in sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that 70%–80% of South Africans consult traditional health practitioners for the treatment of psychological ailments. As traditional health practitioners maintain a strong role in assessing and treating patients with mental illness in this context, this study contributes to the burgeoning research literature on the topic. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 18 traditional 

Pathways to care among patients with mental illness at two psychiatric facilities in Johannesburg, South Africa

A patient’s pathway to care is often characterized by a sequence of actions taken to remedy ill-health. Research exploring the help-seeking behavior of individuals with mental health problems in sub-Saharan Africa is relatively limited. This study assessed the perceptions and experiences of mental illness and treatment among patients with mental illness at two psychiatric facilities in Johannesburg, South 

A modelling framework for translating discrete choice experiment results into cost-effectiveness estimates: an application to designing tailored and scalable HIV and contraceptive services for adolescents in Gauteng, South Africa

South African youth and adolescents face a high burden of (Sexually Transmitted Infections) STIs, HIV and unintended pregnancies, but uptake of services remains low. To address this, tailored and scalable interventions are urgently needed. We developed a framework to fill the gap and translate the impact of facility-level attributes into a cost-effectiveness analysis for increasing HIV/contraceptive service uptake in adolescents using a discrete choice experiment 

What will it take for an injectable ARV to change the face of the HIV epidemic in high-prevalence countries? Considerations regarding drug costs and operations

The proven effectiveness of injectable cabotegravir (CAB-LA) is higher than that of any other HIV prevention intervention ever trialled or implemented, surpassing medical male circumcision, condoms and combination antiretroviral treatment. Based on our own analyses and experience with the South African oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) programme, we review the supply and demand side factors that would need to be in place for a successful rollout of CAB-LA, and delineate lessons for the 

The National COVID-19 Epi Model (NCEM): Estimating cases, admissions and deaths for the first wave of COVID-19 in South Africa

In March 2020 the South African COVID-19 Modelling Consortium was formed to support government planning for COVID-19 cases and related healthcare. Models were developed jointly by local disease modelling groups to estimate cases, resource needs and deaths due to COVID-19. The National COVID-19 Epi Model (NCEM) while initially developed as a deterministic compartmental model of SARS-Cov-2 transmission in the nine provinces of South Africa, was adapted several times over the course of the first 

Differential in-hospital mortality and intensive care treatment over time: Informing hospital pathways for modelling COVID-19 in South Africa

There are limited published data within sub-Saharan Africa describing hospital pathways of COVID-19 patients hospitalized. These data are crucial for the parameterisation of epidemiological and cost models, and for planning purposes for the region. We evaluated COVID19 hospital admissions from the South African national hospital surveillance system (DATCOV) during the first three COVID-19 waves between May 2020 and August 2021. We describe probabilities and admission into intensive care units 

Attrition from HIV treatment after enrollment in a differentiated service delivery model: A cohort analysis of routine care in Zambia

Abstract Background Many sub-Saharan Africa countries are scaling up differentiated service delivery (DSD) models for HIV treatment to increase access and remove barriers to care. We assessed factors associated with attrition after DSD model enrollment in Zambia, focusing on patient-level characteristics. Methods We conducted a retrospective record review using electronic medical records (EMR) of adults (≥15 years) initiated on antiretroviral (ART) between 01 January 2018 and 30 

Religious and Medical Pluralism Among Traditional Healers in Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract Religion and spirituality are powerful social forces in contemporary South Africa. Traditional Health Practitioners (THPs) are commonly consulted for both spiritual and medical ailments as a first line of care. Many studies have assessed African traditional health seeking behaviors but few have examined beliefs, practices, and behaviors of THPs themselves. This study sought to explore spiritual worldviews among South African THPs. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted 

Qualitative study exploring the feasibility of using medication monitors and a differentiated care approach to support adherence among people receiving TB treatment in South Africa

The tuberculosis (TB) MATE study evaluated whether a differentiated care approach (DCA) based on tablet-taking data from Wisepill evriMED digital adherence technology could improve TB treatment adherence. The DCA entailed a stepwise increase in adherence support starting from short message service (SMS) to phone calls, followed by home visits and motivational counselling. We explored feasibility of this approach with providers in implementing