© 2018 VAPAR/Wits/DoH Mpumalanga

 

The research is supported by the Health Systems Research Initiative from Department for International Development (DFID)/ Medical Research Council (MRC)/ Wellcome Trust/ Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (MR/N005597/1, MR/P014844/1) 

Methods & Tools

We develop methods to understand disease burdens in populations and to engage with communities to build and learn from new knowledge on social and health systems issues, and how these affect people's interactions with care 

Extending Health Statistics

We have developed a new 'circumstances of mortality' classification system providing information on critical limiting factors arising from social and health systems contexts;. The research has introduced a system to record new information in routine health surveillance on factors such as transport and hospital admissions. In resource-poor settings these processes can play a critical role in survival, and documenting them provides important information for health service provision.

Developing Learning Platforms

We work closely with the provincial and district Department of Health to understand evidence gaps, develop research questions and processes, and to consider what data are telling us, and how changes can be implemented to respond to the issues identified. We have recently extended the platform the Departments including Water and Sanitation, Education and Social Development, acknowledging the complexity of many health issues, and the implications for multi-sectoral action.

Enabling Community Voices

Introducing Participatory Action Research, we have developed understandings of the social issues affecting health, and how these affect people's interactions with care. Participatory Action Research provides a route to involve those in the greatest need in health services. This can empower disadvantaged groups to have more of a say in health systems, in turn strengthening people's abilities to protect and promote their health.