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Cochrane South Africa

Current Projects

CAN is a network of sub-Saharan African regional hubs (West, Francophone, Southern and Eastern Africa) managed by experienced Cochrane review contributors. CAN is an innovative, African-led response to the need to increase the use of evidence in Africa and the recognition that where disease burden and health system challenges are greatest, the need for evidence to support decision-making and resource use is most critical. CAN aims to increase the use of Cochrane evidence to inform healthcare decision-making in the sub-Saharan region by supporting the production of high-quality reviews, making relevant evidence accessible; advocating for evidence; and, building a sustainable network.

The Cochrane Nutrition Field is under the leadership of Cochrane South Africa, the South African Medical Research Council, and the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care (CEBHC), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, along with international partners.

Cochrane Nutrition will aim to coordinate activities related to nutrition reviews within Cochrane; to ensure that priority nutrition reviews are conducted with rigorous methodological approaches; and, to promote the use of evidence from nutrition systematic reviews to inform healthcare decision making.

The Collaboration for Evidence-Based Healthcare and Public Health in Africa (CEBHA+) is a research network funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research. This network intends to translate the principles of evidence based public health by ensuring that the priority research questions are relevant and fill a real gap, through conducting robust research and through overcoming the disconnect between primary research, evidence synthesis and implementation into policy-and-practice.

CEBHA+ comprises six partner institutions in Africa, in Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and South Africa, and two partner institutions in Germany. Cochrane SA is one of the African partners, contributing toward all work packages of the network, including:

  • Leading systematic reviews on population-level interventions to increase physical activity to prevent cardiovascular diseases; and screening strategies for diabetes and hypertension and contributing to other research projects.
  • Building capacity and providing methodological support to conduct high quality evidence syntheses, and to translate evidence into policy and practice.
  • Networking, to increase connectivity between all partners and with relevant stakeholders to enhance evidence informed policymaking.
The Pan African Clinical Trials Registry (PACTR) is run by Cochrane SA. It was initially funded by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership. PACTR began in 2007 with a focus on AIDS, TB and Malaria. In 2009 it was expanded to include all diseases. PACTR is the only African Primary Registry in the World Health Organisation’s Registry Network and fulfils the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) mandate for prospective registration of all trials prior to publication.

Cochrane SA in partnership with the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care at Stellenbosch University is involved in the Read-It project which is co-ordinated by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

READ-It focuses on two main areas:

  • Reliable, up-to-date, scientifically defensible and relevant evidence in high-priority areas including HIV, nutrition, tuberculosis and malaria.

READ-It activities include:

  • Preparing and updating Cochrane Reviews about the effects of health care relevant to low- and middle-income countries.

  • Identifying approaches to ensure dissemination and use of the results of systematic reviews in decision making. 

READ-It (project number 300342-104) is funded by UK aid from the UK government.

The South African Guidelines Excellence Project (SAGE) is an SAMRC Flagship funded project within Cochrane SA. It involves the following partners: SAMRC’s Health Systems Research Unit, the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care at Stellenbosch University and the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence at the University of South Australia.

SAGE gathers evidence from around the world, and uses local skills and knowledge, to support the development, adaptation and implementation of guidelines for South Africa.

The SA GRADE network will contribute to capacity building and enhanced use of GRADE methodology within South Africa. The SA GRADE Network is jointly led and managed by Centre for Evidence Based Health Care (CEBHC), Stellenbosch University and Cochrane South Africa (CSA), South African Medical Research Council.