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The future of a Digital Discovery Hub at THINK

Get up, close and personal with our Senior IT Officer, Bekani Samuel Nsibanyoni! Find out why he places such high importance on IT proficiency, and learn more about his vision of creating an IT Training Development Centre. Q: What can you tell us about the Digital Discovery Hub? A: Today THINK relies heavily on computerised technology to efficiently complete various amounts of tasks. As part of our mission to create a workplace that is efficient and effective from a technology point of view, I would like to embark on a journey that allows us to ensure all THINKers have access to [...]

Success Stories from THINK’s uThukela district

SUCCESS STORY 1A 20-year-old male came to Ladysmith’s Steadville clinic on March 21 this year, presenting with loss of appetite, loss of energy, loss of weight, coughing and vomiting blood. Signs and symptoms of TB was noted. Sputum for GXP taken, and the result was positive with Rifampicin Resistance – on March 24. He was referred to Ladysmith Hospital for treatment, and subsequently to Estcourt for DR-TB initiation.Tracing by the Department of Health was done, and seven contacts identified – all tested on March 28, no under 5s included. The THINK team then got an invite from the DoH to come [...]

Go, THINK uMkhanyakude!

The team at our uMkhanyakude district office has received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Provincial Office for reaching the target TB success rate.A celebration at the Provincial TB Workshop recently took place, where uMkhanyakude was recognised for doing an excellent job in managing cases of both Drug-Sensitive (DS) and Drug-Resistant (DR) TB.For the last three years, uMkhanyakude has shown great dedication to taking care of TB patients. They achieved a success rate of 88% - 89% in treating DS TB, which shows that this fabulous THINK team provide high-quality care to people with TB. uMkhanyakude also managed to meet and maintain [...]

Empowering Communities and Advancing Healthcare

The uMgungundlovu district, a vital hub serving 10% of the provincial population, is a diverse district where challenges overpower opportunities – as the district addresses socio-economic issues like informal settlements and the existing vulnerable key population demographic. With seven municipalities under its umbrella – uMshwathi, Umgeni, Mpofana, Impendle, Msunduzi, UMkhambathini, and Richmond – the district strives to collate a collective response to healthcare needs. There are currently 28 facilities in the district receiving support from THINK's DSD and roving teams; 10 facilities receive direct support from our DSD staff, while 18 benefit from technical assistance via roving teams. Our commitment [...]

Greetings from THINK International

We're thrilled to bring you the latest happenings at our new home in Copenhagen! We're now sharing an open office space with our partners at Dalberg Media. A leading social impact advisory group that brings together strategy consulting, design thinking, big data analytics, research, and implementation to address complex social and environmental challenges, Dalberg is a dynamic organisation you should definitely get to know. In our lively co-working environment, we're surrounded by about 30 brilliant minds, mainly from Dalberg. But that's not all! We're also sharing the space with Nordic Safe Cities, an NGO committed to fostering inclusive and safe urban [...]

Trevor’s Take on THINK Culture

We all know and love the wonderful THINK culture – a vital part of every THINKers well-being and motivation to make a difference daily. Although most of us have individual takes on how we define this unique culture, at the end of the day it all boils down to aligning with our core values. Let’s hear what our inspiring leader, Trevor Mvundura, has to say in this fun Q&A session! Q: What defines the THINK culture? A: When asked about THINK's culture, I’d say it's anchored in our core values. Our team's passion for the work we do is palpable. [...]

What’s next for the Hillcrest Clinical Trial Unit?

The two new clinical trials that THINK is currently preparing for are within the fields of HIV prevention in high-risk groups, and individuals diagnosed with drug sensitive TB. The HIV prevention trial is sponsored by GILEAD Inc and offers pre-exposure prophylaxis to individuals at high risk of contracting HIV. The trial is being conducted in a number of countries around the world – including Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Thailand, United States, and South Africa. At the THINK Hillcrest Clinical Trial Unit (HCTU), men who have sex with men and transgender women will be screened for enrolment into the trial. This randomised [...]

Applying Artificial Intelligence in Public Health

Hot off the press! If you caught our recent announcement, you know that THINK has secured a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We're ecstatic to share that we were one of just 50 winners among a staggering 1 300 applications globally, all responding to the Grand Challenges on the Equitable use of AI. Leading the charge on this cutting-edge project, titled "Unlocking the Power of Data," are Suzanne Staples (PI), Abraham Mlasa (Data Analyst), Kristina Wallengren (Technical Lead), Fanele Msimango (Research Assistant), and Robyn Allie (Project Coordinator). Our stalwart TB LON team, featuring Riyadh, Lynette, Louisa, Zandile, and [...]

Celebrating a Decade of Impactful Healthcare: Reflections with Dr. Suzanne Staples

As we mark THINK's 10th year of impactful work, we celebrate the dedication and expertise of our team of over 500 researchers and healthcare professionals who have provided care for over 0.5 million individuals in KwaZulu-Natal. Through our pioneering clinical research, we have influenced treatment guidelines worldwide and elevated the quality of care in South Africa and beyond. In the spirit of reflection, Dr. Suzanne Staples, our esteemed Chief Strategy Officer, is sharing her invaluable insights and experiences while working at THINK. Q: Looking back on the past 10 years, what accomplishments of THINK are you most proud of? A: Given [...]

Exciting new partnership: THINK and SASUF collaboration

We are thrilled to announce our partnership with the South Africa-Sweden University Forum (SASUF). SASUF is a collaboration between Swedish and South African universities with the aim of increasing collaboration between the two countries. As part of this partnership, THINK will be hosting a satellite event titled Translating Research into Action on 27-28 March 2023 – during the SASUF Research and Innovation week. This event is a great opportunity for researchers who are interested in learning more about conducting research in a program context to learn how this increases the scope and impact on health and wellbeing. Researchers have the opportunity [...]

THINK is venturing into the Metaverse with the launch of our first NFT fundraising project

Feb. 07, 2023 – THINK, with the support of Virtuall, has launched their our very first limited edition NFT (non-fungible token) wearable and ventured into Metaverse where crypto fundraising and virtual engagement with donors is rapidly becoming the norm. The launch of the NFT will enable THINK to adapt to a fast-changing fundraising environment where it is essential to be able to accept crypto donations and engage with a new generation of philanthropists through the Metaverse. Dr Kristina Wallengren, Founder and Group CEO of THINK, points out that: “Since 2013, THINK has reached more than half a million people with [...]

Three THINKers to present their research at The Union 2022

The Union World Conference on Lung Health 2022 starts tomorrow when researchers, funders and stakeholders will gather virtually until the end of the week to share, discuss and strategize. The theme for this year is "Combating Pandemics: Today and Tomorrow" with the tagline of: "We must work together towards the elimination of all lung health pandemics and this can only be achieved if we address the issues of equity and inclusion for a healthier, safer world." This year, THINK's research will be presented by Dr Suzanne Staples, Dr Lynette Duckworth and Dr Abraham Malaza - each an expert in their areas [...]

In-depth: Use of urine test for TB increasing

Dr Lynette Duckworth, technical TB lead for THINK While tuberculosis (TB) is the top killer of people living with HIV, TB is also harder to diagnose in people living with HIV than in people who are not. What is more, TB is particularly difficult to diagnose in people living with HIV who have compromised immune systems. Imagine, for example, someone living with HIV is very sick and lying in hospital. It is not known whether or not the person has TB. They may not be coughing much and may be unable to cough up the sputum required for the [...]

When a Giver, Receives: Donation from Brits Nonwoven

We are thankful to Brits Nonwoven for the donation of D15 masks to THINK: 3442 x Large for Men - Elastic Band Masks, 2481 x Large-Toggle Masks, 8381 x Medium for kids/woman - Elastic Band Masks, 4990 x Medium-Toggle Masks. Thank you so much for your great generosity! Through the Brits Nonwoven donation, we will be able to provide masks for our staff and patients based at our various clinics around KwaZulu-Natal. Your support helps to further our mission which is to continue making a difference in the lives of those people living with TB and HIV whilst maintaining a healthy [...]

The Feasibility and Acceptability of Video Observed Therapy in the Practical Setting of a TB Clinical Trial

7th SA TB Conference 2022 Oral Presentation Track 3: Implementation/Health systems Authors: Siyabonga Myeni, Munira Khan, Suzanne Staples BackgroundVideo Observed Therapy (VOT) is an innovative digital treatment support technology that employs live or recorded video monitoring dosing via a smartphone, tablet or computer. Objectives Among VOT implementors and MDR-TB patients on a TB clinical trial in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: To measure acceptability and feasibility of VOT, To identify barriers and enablers Methods A complementary concurrent mixed-methods design was used: Quantitative survey captured participants’ demographic information, access to and ability to use technology and the usage of VOT. Qualitative component consisted of [...]

Tuberculosis case yield from LF-LAM: Experience from four districts in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

7th SA TB Conference 2022 Poster Presentation Track 3: Implementation/Health systems Authors: Lynette Duckworth; Jayandry Tasha Govender Background Identifying missing TB cases in HIV-positive clients is an ongoing challenge. As a simple point-of-care test, LF-LAM can be performed in 25 minutes using urine, a sample that is readily available. Positive results can be actioned immediately allowing rapid linkage to care and reduction in mortality for HIV/TB-coinfected patients. Challenges of TB-HIV Co-Infection: Atypical and non-specific presentation of TB disease, particularly if CD4 <200 Often test GeneXpert negative due to paucibacillary disease; lack of pulmonary symptoms or inability to produce sputum Extrapulmonary disease [...]

A qualitative exploration of the effects of psychological well-being and mental health on DR-TB treatment outcomes

7th SA TB Conference 2022 Poster Presentation Track 4: Social and community aspects of TB Authors: Nonhlanhla Ndondo; Dr Suzanne Staples Background Increasingly, researchers are recognizing the detrimental impact of mental ill-health on patients with chronic conditions and opportunistic infections. There is a link between poor mental well-being and treatment non-compliance among chronic illness and HIV patients. South Africa has a high burden of HIV and drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) comorbidity, but research on how psychological wellbeing impacts DR-TB treatment outcomes is limited. The present study aimed to analyse the effect that DR-TB patients' self-reported mental and psychological well-being has on [...]

A systematic approach to ascertain linkage to care for DR-TB patients in Eastern Cape

7th SA TB Conference 2022 Poster Presentation Track 3: Implementation/Health systems Authors: Marcel Kitenge1,2, Ruvimbo Chingonzoh3,4, Abraham L.Malaza1, Mcedisi J. Madlavu3, Riyadh Manesen1 1THINK TB & HIV Investigative Network, Hillcrest, KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa. 2Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa. 3Division of Public Health Surveillance and Response, National Institute for Communicable Disease, National Laboratory Services, Johannesburg, South Africa. 4HIV and AIDS, STIs and TB (HAST) Programme, Eastern Cape Department of Health, King Williams Town, South Africa. Background Linkage to care following Rifampicin Resistant Tuberculosis (RR-TB) diagnosis [...]

Wheelchair donation makes a difference in the life of a little boy

THINK through the support and donation from the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust, we were able to make an incredible difference into a young boy’s and entire families life with a donation of a much needed wheelchair. When one heard the mother of the boy say in a very emotional and soft voice; “Ngiyabonga kakhulu THINK, uNkulunkulu anibusise.” Which can be direct translated to, “Thank you so much THINK, may God bless you.” One couldn’t hold their tears back; it made you realise what it means to be a THINKer’ but more importantly what it means to be human; to love and [...]

THINK’s new Non-Executive Director

Meet THINK’s new Non-Executive Director, Debbie Gebhardt; an energetic, unbelievably creative and natural leader. Debbie is a veteran Marketing professional with over 25 years of experience, whose career is what every marketing practitioner dreams of; she is a living legend in the creative and marketing space.At THINK, we believe in making a difference in the world with passion and dedication. Our holistic understanding of TB and HIV is the way we know how, and Debbie brings with her a dynamic, innovative mindset with a natural curiosity about human behaviour & an innate attraction to those who are a force for good; making [...]

USAID TB LON Annual Program Report 2020


USAID TB LON Annual Program Report 2021


THINK’s Winner at the 7th SA TB Conference

Congratulations to Nonhlanhla (Noni) Madondo for winning in the Poster Presentations under Track 4 at the 7th SA TB Conference, for her incredible presentation on ‘Qualitative exploration of the effects of psychological well-being and mental health on DR-TB treatment outcomes in KwaZulu-Natal’. “The SA-TB conference was truly a transformational experience. The energy was electric and it was inspiring to be around people with similar interests who have done amazing work to curb the impact of TB. I particularly enjoyed the innovative implementation sessions on TB and Adolescents- it was right up my alley as a social scientist and got me thinking [...]

Pharmacist making a difference at THINK

6 Sep 2022 By Anita Jacobs, pharmacist at THINK I became a pharmacist as I was very interested in caring for human health. The ability to understand health at a much deeper level, translating it to my patients and then witnessing them healthier and recovered drives my passion. Pharmacy is a well-rounded career which involves not only patient care but can incorporate science, innovation, research, technology as well as business. I am grateful to have been able to experience all of these multi facets throughout my career and I am still learning! In all aspects however, there is nothing more [...]

UK intern learns about the research THINK does

“Interning at THINK was an amazing opportunity to immerse myself in a South African NGO and learn about the research. Everyone here is passionate about their work, whether it be medical research or finance, and truly are an inspiration. From an outside perspective, the people at THINK are ambitious, hard-working, and want to make a real difference in South African healthcare. Investigating the TB trials has been very interesting, from the scientific aspect to the ethics behind them.Mzo Elvis Zuma, a nurse at the clinic, drove me to a hospital in Durban and showed me the Durban beach. He told [...]

Programmatic Introduction of the BPaL Regimen: A Practical Implementation Guide

Download Guideline Published: November 2022 Authors: Staples S, Khan M. Howell, P; Juneja, S. Gupta, A In 2021, Dr Suzanne Staples and Dr Munira Khan co-authored a practical implementation guide for use in the programmatic introduction of the BPaL regimen, with key contributions from Dr Pauline Howell (WITS Health Consortium), Sandeep Juneja and Aastha Gupta (TB Alliance) amongst others. This regimen, consisting of Bedaquiline, Pretomanid and Linezolid, is becoming increasingly accessible on a global scale for the treatment of drug- resistant tuberculosis and the guide is intended to assist countries in planning for BPaL implementation. The guide is [...]

Launch of our Mobile X-ray Units

THINK with the support of @USAID and @kznhealth, launched a brand new fleet of Mobile X-ray vans during the World TB Day event in Howick, Mpophomeni in March. These vans are intended to complement TB screening initiatives among key populations in uThukela, Amajuba, uMgungundlovu and uMkhanyakude districts. Each van is staffed with a radiographer to take X-rays and an enrolled nurse to assess the results and the patient’s overall health. This enables us to diagnose TB patients quicker and to link them to care at the facility. Let’s invest in efforts to stop TB!

Positive signs for new TB testing strategy

Under a new tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis strategy, people considered to be at high risk of TB are offered molecular TB tests, even if they do not have any symptoms. A landmark study in 2020 showed that such a strategy can help diagnose more people more quickly. Now, early indications are that it also works in the real world and South Africa’s lab service says they can cope with the increased demand. The strategy called targeted universal testing (TUT for short), involves routinely offering TB tests to people living with HIV, household contacts of people with TB, and people who have had [...]

June is National Men’s Health Month!

This month is all about encouraging the men and boys in your life (including you, men out there!) to take care of their bodies by eating right, exercising, and working to prevent disease. The official symbol for the month is a blue ribbon and the purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of diseases including TB, HIV/AIDS, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and depression. At THINK, we take Men’s Health Month very seriously, hence why we’ve started a series called #CheckYourselfBeforeYouWreckYourself and we will be sharing interviews and perspective [...]

THINK proudly contributed to the clinical trials of Bedaquiline, Pretomanid and Delamanid

By Dr Suzanne Staples, Chief Strategy Officer at THINK May 2022 marks such a proud and exciting moment in Drug-Resistant TB care, one that THINK has been closely involved with for many years and right from the start. My personal pride stems from the fact that THINK, and the clinical team has contributed so much to this historic moment through hard work and dedication together with our sponsors and collaborators. For decades patients did not have access to new treatments and had to endure toxic drugs and even long-term injectables. Then we entered an age of discovery with new drugs, [...]

Pragmatic Clinical Trial for a more Effective Concise and Less toxic MDR-TB treatment regimen(s) (TB-PRACTECAL)

Author: Dr Ronelle Moodliar THINK has proudly participated in the MSF sponsored TB-PRACTECAL clinical research trial since 2017, a phase II/III clinical trial sponsored by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), that tested a six-month regimen of bedaquiline, pretomanid, linezolid and moxifloxacin (BPaLM), amongst 2 others, against the locally accepted standard of care. At the time of the interim analysis 242 patients had been enrolled in seven trial sites across Belarus, South Africa and Uzbekistan. In March 2021, TB-PRACTECAL was terminated earlier than expected for efficacy, at which point, 552/640 patients were enrolled. MSF submitted a dataset of the interim results [...]

Promising early signs from mobile X-ray TB screening pilots

One of the most intriguing findings from South Africa’s first National Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey was that out of 234 people found to have TB, 58% had abnormal chest X-rays without experiencing any TB symptoms. Not surprisingly, the short report in which the findings were made public recommended the expanded use of X-ray technology for TB screening, something the World Health Organization (WHO) has also recently recommended.In South Africa the first step in TB diagnosis is to ask people whether they have TB symptoms such as persistent cough, weight loss, night sweats, and fever. In general, only people who report TB symptoms [...]

SAGE Success story: THINK works smarter to expand its impact

Published Article by SAGE Download Article THINK TB & HIV Investigative Network is a non-profit organisation that conducts world-renowned clinical research in vaccine development, diagnostic tools, and treatment guidelines for TB and HIV. It improves the quality of life of people affected by these diseases through training, capacity building, and engaging with local communities and stakeholders to support and improve health. Since its establishment in 2013, THINK has provided over 100,000 people with treatment, counselling, and care. Key outcomes: 30% less time spent on payments in the first month Ability to analyse and produce audit-ready financials [...]

Interactive booklet and pillboxes improve DR-TB treatment adherence

The treatment of Drug- Resistant TB (DR-TB) treatment has rapidly evolved over the last five years with the first new oral DR-TB drug, Bedaquiline, being introduced into the NDOH DR-TB programme in 2017. Following the successful introduction of Bedaquiline into a nine-month all-oral regimen, all treatments for DR-TB in South Africa were transitioned into injection (Kanamycin)- free regimens in 2018. Despite these advances, the treatment regimens for DR-TB remain complex, with patients requiring seven different drugs (up to 17 tablets daily) on the nine-month short regimen; and at least five different drugs (up to 12 tablets daily) on the 18-month long [...]

Outreach teams are trained to make a difference in their communities

Building the capacity of community outreach teams is one of the priorities of South Africa’s National TB Program (NTP) to improve contact tracing, screening and linkage to TB Preventative Therapy (TPT). Outreach teams consist of community healthcare workers who act as liaisons between communities and their nearest health care facility. At the beginning of 2021, the uMkhanyakude district Department of Health (DoH) requested training on COVID-19, TB and HIV for 20 of their newly employed outreach team members to increase the impact of these teams in their communities. Since health system strengthening and capacity building are prioritized activities of the USAID [...]

USAID TB LON-SAFT impact at East Boom CHC appreciated

During June, the TB/Integrated Services Team Lead for USAID Southern Africa, Ms Cindy Dlamini, visited the East Boom Community Health Centre (CHC) in uMgungundlovu Health District. The visit was facilitated by the USAID TB LON-SAFT Programme, implemented by THINK and the facility management team from the Department of Health. The aim of the visit was for Ms Dlamini to review the impact of the Direct Service Delivery (DSD) support that the USAID TB LON-SAFT Programme team is providing to the CHC. The TB LON Programme team consists of an enrolled nurse, an enrolled nurse assistant and a data clerk. The Programme [...]

Data verification and clean up exercises help improve quality of TB data in eThekwini health facilities

As part of Operation Phuthuma, a 10 Point Plan for Acceleration initiated by the Department of Health (DoH) to improve health service delivery in the country, the eThekwini District DoH embarked on monthly HIV & AIDS, STI and TB (HAST) Programme data clean-up exercises. During February and March 2021, the USAID TB LON-SAFT team collaborated with the district TB Prevention and Control Programme to conduct data verification exercises in health care facilities in eThekwini. The USAID TB LON-SAFT team developed a template for data verifications and it has since been adopted by facilities throughout the entire district. A total of 18 [...]

Nurses share stories from the COVID-19 pandemic for International Nurses Day

On the 12th May 2021, International Nurses’ Day was celebrated and commemorated after a year marked by unknowns, fears, and heavy workloads for most nurses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, nurses across the world have faced these challenges and shown innovation and selfless care to millions of patients at health care facilities and at home. The theme of the campaign was “A Voice to Lead – A vision for future healthcare” and aimed to highlight the important role that nurses play in keeping people healthy, how nurses are innovating healthcare and to explore what nursing may look like in [...]

TB awareness raising as the “clock is ticking” on World TB Day

To commemorate World TB Day on the 24th March 2021, teams from the USAID TB LON-SAFT Programme implemented by THINK, organized various events in March and April. The World TB Day theme for this year was “The Clock is Ticking” conveying a reminder that the world is running out of time to act on the commitments made by global leaders to end TB by 2030. USAID TB LON-SAFT teams in eThekwini district provided TB, HIV, COVID-19 and diabetes screening, testing and other health services in partnership with Health Systems Trust’s mobile clinic at Molweni sports ground. Team members wore T-shirts conveying [...]

The USAID TB LON-SAFT Programme implemented by THINK

The USAID TB LON-SAFT Programme was initially awarded to the Tuberculosis and HIV Investigative Network (THINK) to implement in the uMgungundlovu district of KwaZulu-Natal province from 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2020. The aim was to strengthen the drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) service delivery platform in the district. An extension of this award followed to include drug-susceptible TB (DS-TB) as well for a period from 01 October 2020 until 30 September 2022 and the implementation area was expanded to also include uMkhanyakude, eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal and three districts in the Eastern Cape province namely Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, Sarah Baartman and [...]

THINK screens first patients for TB-CHAMP trial assessing levofloxacin as a preventive therapy for DR-TB

Young children and HIV-positive individuals are at high risk of developing tuberculosis (TB) disease following exposure and infection to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) bacteria. In the absence of appropriate preventive therapy, M.tb-infected children under the age of five have a 50% risk of developing TB. More than 90% of children that are exposed to M.tb and who progress to disease, will do so within 12 months while the majority of the remainder will progress in the next 12 months. On a global scale, approximately 1.2 million children contract TB every year, with an estimated 200,000 children needlessly dying from the [...]

USG Consul General visits KwaMsane clinic in uMkhanyakude

During the month of June, the USG Consul General (represented by Anne Linnee, Elizabeth Orlando and Baphiwe Nxumalo, the liaison for PEPFAR in the province) and USAID South Africa (represented by Kevin Sturr, the Deputy Mission Director and Phyllis Pholoholo, a project management specialist in TB/HIV clinical care) were introduced to the USAID TB LON-SAFT team in Hlabisa, a subdistrict of uMkhanyakude. The introductory visit started at the Richard’s Bay THINK offices where an overview was given of the ongoing work of the USAID TB LON-SAFT Programme in the district and the USAID mission’s support of TB work in the country. [...]

Homeless Shelter in Durban residents screen and test for TB

In June 2021, the USAID TB LON-SAFT Programme implemented by THINK conducted a TB Screening Outreach campaign at the Block A.K Homeless Shelter in Durban in collaboration with the eThekwini Municipality, Beatrice Street Primary Health Care (PHC) facility and Stop TB Partnership. The campaign was initiated by the THINK Programme team after learning about a resident from the shelter who was diagnosed and initiated on treatment at the Beatrice PHC the month before. Two other residents were also being treated for TB. Block A.K Homeless Shelter is a charity dependent residence for homeless people that is managed by the eThekwini Municipality. [...]

Bedaquiline for multidrug-resistant TB in paediatric patients

THINK’s first paediatric study, sponsored by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, started in May 2015 headed by Dr Ronelle Moodliar at the King Dinuzulu clinical trial site. The study was supported by Seshni Moorgas as the trial coordinator together with Nokuthula Ngcobo and Lungile Phakatias the research nurses. The study contributed towards more than 50% of the total recruited patients globally for cohorts 1 and 2 (>5 to <18 years) and is currently enrolling children into the >2 to <5-year cohort. Through the successful achievements of this study thus far, the paediatric dosage and formulation for the age groups of 5-18-years have now [...]

Bonginkosi’s Story – THINK’s 240th patient in the MSF clinical trial study

"When I told my wife that I was going to be hospitalized for a long time, she couldn't stop crying." Bonginkosi Emmanuel Mkhize is a 32-year-old refrigerator mechanic based in Durban, South Africa. He is the 240th patient to participate in the MSF study. The aim of this research: to find a new cure for resistant tuberculosis. Tuberculosis Durban is the largest city in the KwaZulu-Natal province, on the east coast of South Africa. It is known as a surfer's mecca. And it is the city with one of the largest commercial seaports in the world. KwaZula-Natal province is the second province in South [...]

Health system determinants of tuberculosis mortality in South Africa: a causal loop model

Authors: Muhammad Osman, Aaron S Karat, Munira Khan, Sue-Ann Meehan, Arne von Delft, Zameer Brey, Salome Charalambous, Anneke C Hesseling, Pren Naidoo & Marian Loveday Journal: BMC Health Services Research 21, Article number: 388 (2021) ABSTRACT Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health concern in South Africa and TB-related mortality remains unacceptably high. Numerous clinical studies have examined the direct causes of TB-related mortality, but its wider, systemic drivers are less well understood. Applying systems thinking, we aimed to identify factors underlying TB mortality in South Africa and describe their relationships. At a meeting organised by the ‘Optimising TB [...]

Improving the quality of TB data in eThekwini health facilities

As part of Operation Phuthuma, a 10 Point Plan for Acceleration initiated by the Department of Health (DoH) to improve health service delivery in the country, the eThekwini District DoH embarked on monthly HIV & AIDS, STI and TB (HAST) Programme data clean-up exercises. During February and March 2021, the USAID TB LON-SAFT team collaborated with the district TB Prevention and Control Programme to conduct data verification exercises in health care facilities in eThekwini. The USAID TB LON-SAFT team developed a template for data verifications and it has since been adopted by facilities throughout the entire district. A total of 18 [...]

A narrative systematic review of tobacco cessation interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa

Published: 29 May 2020Authors: Nasheeta Peer1,2 , Ashika Naicker3 , Munira Khan4 and Andre-Pascal Kengne1,2Journal: SAGE Open Medicine Volume 8: 1–12ABSTRACTAim: In the face of increasing tobacco consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa, it is crucial to not only curb the uptake of tobacco, but to ensure that tobacco users quit. Considering the minimal attention that tobacco cessation interventions receive in Sub- Saharan Africa, this review aims to describe studies that evaluated tobacco cessation interventions in the region.Methods: A search of studies published till December 2019 that evaluated tobacco cessation interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa and examined tobacco quit rates was conducted in PubMed-Medline, [...]

Dr Staples is awarded the EDCTP -TDR Clinical Research & Development Fellowship

In September 2017 Doctor Suzanne Staples left for the Netherlands for 1 year as the recipient of the EDCTP -TDR Clinical Research & Development Fellowship. The aim of the fellowship is to build capacity in African researchers through placement at a European Scientific research organisation. Through this placement fellows learn and understand the operation of a scientific clinical research organization, to improve their capacity for conducting future research.  To this end, Dr. Staples was welcomed at Julius Clinical based in Zeist, The Netherlands. A scientific Clinical Research Organisation.Her personal objective for her time abroad was to improve her research capacity in [...]

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