South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
Building a healthy nation through research and innovation

Media statement

28 February 2014

South African Cochrane Centre announces new Leadership Award

The South African Medical Research Council’s SA Cochrane Centre (SACC) has announced the establishment of the Aubrey Sheiham Evidence-based Health Care in Africa Leadership Award.  The award, an extension of the Aubrey Sheiham scholarship, will be offered annually by The Cochrane Collaboration for excellence and leadership in evidence-based health care on the continent.

“We are thrilled to bring the Aubrey Sheiham Award to Africa,” says Jimmy Volmink, Director of the SACC. “We look forward to supporting the next generation of researchers finding the evidence to answer Africa’s most critical healthcare questions.”

Dental epidemiologist Aubrey Sheiham’s scholarship has, since 2001, assisted Cochrane researchers from low –and-middle-income countries in completing Cochrane Reviews on topics of relevance to their region and to cascade relevant knowledge about Cochrane and evidence-based health care to their local networks.

In continuing the Aubrey Sheiham Scholarship’s established tradition of building knowledge and research networks, the award recipient will support capacity development by mentoring a novice author from Africa through the Cochrane Review process in addition to completing their chosen Cochrane Review and disseminating its findings.

The call for applications for the 2014 Aubrey Sheiham Award is open until 30 May 2014, with an announcement of the Award winner expected 30 June 2014.

What is the Cochrane Centre about and what is its purpose?
The South African Cochrane Centre is the only Cochrane Centre in Africa. The main purpose of a Cochrane Centre is:

  • to provide support and training to authors undertaking Cochrane systematic reviews
  • to promote, represent and serve as a source of information for The Cochrane Collaboration (

What is a Cochrane Review?
A systematic review answers a specific question about a particular healthcare intervention by summarising the results of healthcare studies and providing the evidence on the effectiveness of the intervention.  Cochrane Reviews follow a specific formula to ensure that the reviews are of a high standard and can be trusted to help healthcare decision makers.  Increasingly, systematic reviews are recognized as the gold standard for evidence to inform policies and practice. The World Health Organization (WHO) awarded The Cochrane Collaboration a seat on the World Health Assembly allowing the Collaboration to provide input on WHO health resolutions. In addition, WHO guidelines, as well as many other guidelines globally and locally, are increasingly informed by rigorously developed Cochrane Reviews.

Where are other international Cochrane Centres located?
There are 14 Cochrane Centres world-wide.  Below a list of the countries where the other Centres are based

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • India
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Brazil
  • United States
  • Spain
  • China
  • Denmark
  • Italy

Technical Enquiries
Dr Tamara Kredo
South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
South African Cochrane Centre – Cape Town
Telephone: +27 21 938 0508; Mobile: +27 84 588 0388

Media Facilitation
Aziel Gangerdine
Head of Corporate Communications
South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
Tel: +27 21 938 0697; Mobile: +27 71 866 9887

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17 July, 2017
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