Burden of Disease Research Unit
Prof Debbie Bradshaw, MSc, DPhil (Oxon)
South Africa is undergoing profound changes in health and it is important
to monitor this for planning purposes. The evolving health information systems
are not yet able to provide comprehensive information on the trends in health
status and the determinants. Critical
assessment of available data is essential so that the data can be utilised
to develop appropriate decision support information to guide health and health
research policies. Careful analysis of available data sets are done by the
Unit to develop coherent estimates from these data.
The Burden of Disease
Research Unit was set up by the Medical Research Council to collate and analyse
data relating to health status and factors affecting health. The mission of
the Unit is to assess and monitor the country's health status and determinants
of disease; and to project the future burden of disease in order to provide
planning information to improve the health of the nation. Inequalities are
of particular importance given the legacy of the Apartheid history in South
Africa and the current macro-economic trends arising from globalisation. Multidisciplinary
approaches are used drawing on epidemiology, demography and biostatistics.
Expertise has been developed in the area of summary health measures, health
surveys and the analysis of mortality data.
The unit collaborates
with people at all levels of the health service and government in order to
improve the surveillance and management information systems used to collect
such data. In particular, technical support has been provided to government
to improve vital registration and health surveys. Collaborations have been
established with academic institutions and international agencies.
The unit is led by Debbie Bradshaw, MSc, DPhil (Oxon), an established researcher
in the area of South African mortality and epidemiology. She trained as a
biostatistician and developed expertise in epidemiology and demography during
her career as a researcher. Her main research interests are mortality profiles
and health transition. She has authored/co-authored peer reviewed articles
and presented papers nationally and internationally. She serves on several
advisory committees in the health and health research arenas.
Joubert, MA (Sociolinguistics), MA (Demography). Her interests
are in demographic ageing, elder abuse, informal caregiving and burden of
disease among older persons.
- Nadine Nannan,
MSc (Medical Demography). Her interests are in child mortality differentials
and inequalities in health.
- Pam Groenewald,
MB ChB MPH. Her interests are in TB and burden of disease. (Part-time)
- Ria Laubscher,
BSc (Maths). Her interests are in mortality profiles, graphical display
of data and programming. (Biostatistics Unit)
- Ntuthu Somdyala, MA Development Studies, BCur, Registered Nurse and Midwife. Her interests are in cancer surveillance particularly population-based cancer registration, advocacy and public health.
- Beatrice Nojilana, MPH, Death certification. Data coding and data analysis, graphical display of data and burden of disease as well as database management.
- Megan Prinsloo, N.D. Bio-Medical Technology, MPH. Her interests are in surveillance systems, data analysis and epidemiological profiles of violence.
- Nomfuneko Sithole, BSc Honors (Human Physiology). Research Assistant. Interested in population based Cancer registration, particularly assisting in data management.
- Richard Matzopoulos, BBusSci, MPhil (Epidemiology). His research interests centre on injury surveillance and prevention.
- Victoria Pillay-van Wyk, MPH (Epidemiology and Biostatistics), PhD (Pediatrics). She was a Research Fellow at the Red Cross Children's Hospital and a Research Specialist in the Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS and Health research programme at HSRC, where she was part of the team that conducted the 2005 and 2008 National Household HIV and Health surveys.
- William Msemburi,
BSc (Math, Applied Math, Statistics), BSc Hons (Statistics), MPhil (Demography).
His interests are in the development and application of indirect demographic estimation and statistical estimation techniques in health and disease research.
- Edward Nicol, B.Sc. Hons. (Geography), M. A. (Population Studies). His research interests include adolescent reproductive health, environmental health issues affecting Maternal and Child health, and Burden of disease among mothers and children.
- Ian Neethling, MSc. (Physiological Sciences). His interests are in mortality surveillance, infectious disease epidemiology and cost-effectiveness interventions.
- Elize de Kock
- Ian Timaeus,
Centre for Population Studies, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- Rob Dorrington,
Actuarial Science, University of Cape Town
BOD Staff photo
From left to right: Edward Nicol, Ntuthu Somdyala, Ian Neethling, Pam Groenewald, Nadine Nannan, Nomfuneko Sithole, Beatrice Nojilana, Ria Laubscher, Megan Prinsloo, Debbie Bradshaw, Victoria Pillay-van Wyk and Elize de Kock.(missing from photo: Richard Matzopoulos and Jane Joubert )