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Cochrane South Africa


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Prof. Jimmy Volmink Director: Prof Charles Wiysonge

Cochrane South Africa is part of the global, independent Cochrane network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers and people interested in health. Cochrane is a non-profit organisation that prepares and disseminates information (in the form of reviews) on what works and what doesn’t in health care. These reviews enable policy makers, health service providers and the public to make informed decisions about health care.   

Cochrane Reviews identify and evaluate all relevant research studies on a topic and synthesise their results. A well-conducted Cochrane Review provides the most authoritative evidence on the efficacy of preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitative interventions and is a powerful tool to enhance health care knowledge and decision making.

For the latest news and reviews from Cochrane visit the website at (

Cochrane contributors from over 120 countries work together to produce credible, independent information. Cochrane workgroups are formed by health care subject or methodology, and linked by regional centres.

Cochrane SA is one of 14 centres worldwide and the only one in Africa.  It has a branch in Nigeria ( and facilitates networking between Cochrane and individuals in the following countries: Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Comoros, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  

Cochrane SA is a research unit of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC).  It receives its core funding from the SAMRC and raises project-specific grants from external funders in collaboration with partners.

Health care decision making within Africa will be informed by high-quality, timely and relevant research evidence.


  • Prepare and maintain Cochrane Reviews of the effects of health care interventions and diagnostics.
  • Train and develop capacity and skills in conducting Cochrane Reviews.
  • Promote access to, and the use of best evidence, in health care decision making within Africa.


  1. Increase the number of relevant, high quality, up-to-date Cochrane Reviews
  2. Promote access to Cochrane Reviews and derivative products in countries for which the South African Cochrane Centre (SACC) is the reference Cochrane Centre
  3. Promote the science of research synthesis
  4. Promote evidence-based practice and policy through pro-active engagement with stakeholders
  5. Promote the optimal functioning and sustainable growth of the Cochrane Collaboration, SACC and MRC
  6. Support and promote clinical trial registration in Africa
  7. Enhance and improve capacity development and support in the conduct and use of Cochrane Reviews

What is a systematic review?

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Last updated:
27 October, 2017
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