Current Projects

National Cause-of-Death validation

The Burden of Disease Research Unit is conducting a national study to investigate the cause-of-death information provided on death notifications.

After linking the data collected in the study with the cause-of-death data collected by Statistics South Africa, this project will produce correction factors for the national cause-of death profile. The correction factors will be applied to provincial and district mortality profiles. These are likely to be more accurate than COD profiles currently reported and can be used for planning and monitoring the burden of disease in each district and prioritizing the responses to such burden. Lessons in the use of verbal autopsy questionnaires will inform the possibility of using these for routine collection of cause-of-death statistics.

Evolving Risk Factors for Cancers in African Populations (ERICA-SA)

Funded by the South African Medical Research Council and the UK Government’s Newton Fund through the UK Medical Research Council, the ERICA-SA project will utilise lifestyle data and biological samples collected by the Johannesburg Cancer Study (JCS) from 20,000 African cancer patients to investigate the causes of cancer and to enhance scientific research capacity in South Africa.

This will be the largest study of its kind in Africa and will support PhD students to work with an international team of geneticists, infectious disease specialists and epidemiologists from the SAMRC, the NHLS National Cancer Registry, the Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience (SBIMB) at WITS, King’s College London, the University of Cambridge, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Germany, the MRC AIDS Virus Research Centre in Uganda, and the University of Sydney, Australia.

Burden of disease information (evaluation and synthesis of data)
  • 2nd National Burden of Disease Study
  • Comparative risk assessment for South Africa  
Improving population health information
  • South African Demographic and Health Survey
  • Local level mortality surveillance system
  • Population based cancer register in Eastern Cape
  • Evaluation of alcohol policy on violence in Khayelitsha and Nyanga
  • Rapid mortality surveillance
Evaluation of health facility information systems
  • Evaluation of health information systems for National Health Insurance
  • Evaluation of the District Health Information System for PMTCT