Constance Mongwenyana [Research Associate]

T: +27 (0) 10 001 2659  

Constance Mongwenyana, joined HE2RO in 2009 as a Study Coordinator,providing technical and field-based support, to numerous research projects conducted by HE2RO. She holds a MA in Health Sociology from the University of Witwatersrand and a BA (Hons.) from the University of Limpopo. She has over five years of experience and contributes to research development, design, and implementation. Prior to joining HE²RO she was working as a Human Behaviour Scientist at CHRU in 2008. She was also an administrator and a founder of Tshepo Themba Development Centre, a Non-Profit Organisation under the Department of Social Development. She currently is working on numerous studies namely, “Economic outcomes of HIV/AIDS care and treatment in South Africa”, “Rapid initiation of antiretroviral therapy to promote early HIV/AIDS treatment in South Africa (RapIT)”, “RapIT Supplement Study: Non-Communicable Diseases and Antiretroviral Therapy Outcomes in the RapIT Study Population (NCD)”, and “Rewards for Tuberculosis Contact Screening (RECON)”.

Projects

  • Understanding the Predictors of Early ANC Initiation and Patterns of Postpartum Maternal Mobility in Relation to Paediatric HIV Diagnosis and Linkage to HIV Care

    The elimination of vertical transmission of HIV is within reach in South Africa, given the high coverage of the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) program. However to achieve the 90-90-90 targets for children, we need to improve early infant diagnosis (EID) efforts by strengthening postpartum retention and participation of women the PMTCT program, including mothers who initially test HIV negative in antenatal care (ANC). This study aims to firstly map out patterns of maternal 
  • Explore Students’ and Other Stakeholders’ Preferences for Students’ Access to SRH and HIV Services, Including in Schools

    South Africa recently initiated the Integrated School Health Program (ISHP), a progressive program grounded in the School Health Policy and Implementation Guidelines established in 2003. The ISHP includes screening for a range of health services in select schools. There is debate regarding whether to include provision of HIV-related services and SRH services, including contraception, in schools through the ISHP. We aim to explore the preferences of learners, parents and teachers regarding the 
  • Attrition from HIV Care and Treatment Before and After an Increase in the CD4 Count Eligibility Threshold

    South Africa has recently announced that as of January 2015, it will be increasing its HIV treatment CD4 eligibility threshold from 350 cells/μl to 500 cells/μl1 making more patients eligible for treatment than ever before. However efforts to increase HIV treatment coverage may be minimized if losses to follow up, which have been shown to be high along the continuum of HIV care, offset gains from getting more people onto treatment. HE2RO will conduct a prospective cohort study of adult 
  • Rewards for TB Contact Screening (RECON)

    Because of the high risk of both TB and HIV among the household contacts of TB patients and the importance of early case detection for both diseases and especially for DR-TB, improving TB case finding is a high priority. Recent studies have shown that having healthcare workers make multiple visits to the homes of TB patients in order to screen household contacts is a logistically challenging and resource- intensive strategy, and it is not routinely undertaken in most public sector settings in 
  • Evaluation of a Standardized Treatment Regimen of Anti-Tuberculosis Drugs for Patients with MDR-TB (STREAM): Economic Evaluation at Sizwe Tropical Diseases Hospital

    Despite the widespread availability of an efficacious and affordable regimen and strategy for managing drug-susceptible tuberculosis (TB), the emergence of multidrug resistant (MDR) TB remains a major challenge for global TB control efforts. In 2010, data from Bangladesh indicated that a nine-month regimen achieves outcomes comparable to those of the existing, 18-24 month, WHO-approved MDR-TB regimen. The primary objective of the STREAM trial is to assess whether the Bangladesh regimen is 
  • The Costs and Outcomes of Paediatric Tuberculosis Treatment at Primary Health Clinics in Johannesburg, South Africa

    In South Africa, little up-to-date information is available about the costs of providing TB treatment to any population, and no information was found on the costs of providing TB treatment to a paediatric population. Despite the significant burden from paediatric TB, analysis of patient characteristics, contacts, and method of diagnosis is limited. The proposed study aims to begin to fill the information gap by generating descriptive analysis of the cost-outcomes of paediatric treatment for TB 
  • The Costs and Outcomes of Tuberculosis Treatment at Primary Health Care Clinics in an Urban Township, South Africa

    The actual implementation of DOTS across South Africa varies widely. Implementation of DOTS may differ between the intensive phase of treatment (first 2-3 months, with daily injections for the retreatment regimen and a 4-drug fixed combination pill for both first-line regimens) and the continuation phase of treatment (consisting of a daily, 2-drug fixed combination pill). In either phase, the treatment supervisor may be a nurse or counselor at a healthcare facility, a lay healthworker from the 
  • Rapid Initiation of Antiretroviral Treatment (RapIT) for Pregnant Women

    Alongside the primary RapIT study, we are enrolling pregnant women at a public clinic in Johannesburg in a prospective study of the impact of the guidelines on retention on ART for the duration of pregnancy. We are comparing our main outcome, adherence to ART until delivery, for these women to a retrospective comparison group who received PMTCT under earlier 
  • RapIT: Rapid Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy to Promote Early HIV/AIDS Treatment in South Africa

    The RapIT study was a randomized strategy evaluation of the feasibility, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of rapid ART initiation using accelerated clinic procedures and point-of-care laboratory tests. Outpatient, non-pregnant, HIV-positive adults who came to two South African clinics for an HIV test or CD4 count, consented to study participation, and were eligible for ART under 2010 guidelines were randomized 1:1 to rapid ART initiation or to standard care. Those who were assigned to 

Publications