Idah Mokhele [Senior Researcher - Epidemiology]

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Idah Mokhele is an Epidemiologist and Senior Researcher at the Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office (HE2RO) and holds a joint appointment in the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She holds a Master degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of the Witwatersrand and is currently completing a PhD in public health at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Prior to joining HE2RO, she worked for 10 years for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) supporting implementation of the national HIV/AIDS and TB programs in South Africa. First as a monitoring and evaluation professional, then in program and grants management overseeing sub-award partners under the USAID funded Umbrella Grant management (UGM) grant and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) Round 10 grant. Idah changed her career focus to health research in 2016 prior to starting her PhD studies. Currently, her work involves research projects evaluating the national HIV and TB programs in South Africa.

Projects

  • Rates and predictors of ART refusal under the universal-test-and-treat (UTT) policy in South Africa

    Although almost four of seven million persons living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy (ART), an additional 2.5 million individuals must be initiated on ART to reach the target of initiating 90% of diagnosed HIV positive patients on ART by 2020. However, an estimated 20% of South African patients eligible under CD4<200 eligibility threshold were likely to refuse ART. With the removal of CD4 eligibility thresholds in 2016, it is unclear whether the demand for ART has improved and 
  • Building the Capacity of Lay Health Counsellors to Improve ART Uptake among High CD4 Patients under the “Treat All’ Policy in South Africa

    In September 2016, South Africa began implementing test-and-treat, in which everyone who tests HIV positive is offered antiretroviral therapy (ART), in hopes of attaining the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. However the success of the test-and-treat approach depends on early HIV testing and lifelong HIV treatment. In South Africa, lay HIV counselors are the first to introduce ART to newly diagnosed patients. However, most are under-trained with little professional supervision and emotional support and