Cape Town | A state-of-the-art research centre will be launched at the University of Limpopo on 10th December 2018. This state-of-the-art research centre is a node of the South African Population Research Infrastructure Network (SAPRIN). SAPRIN is part of the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap, a programme of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), which is building world-class scientific research infrastructures in a range of key sectors, including humans and society.
“The launch of the DIMAMO Population Health Research Centre is a great stride towards achieving several goals laid out in the Draft 2018 White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation developed by the DST which emphasises inclusivity, transformation and partnerships,” says Professor Jeffrey Mphahlele, Vice President of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). “This new centre will see the development of research infrastructure and support innovation for inclusive development, including social and grassroots innovation,” says Prof Mphahlele.
In 2017 the DIMAMO Population Health Research Centre became one of the founding SAPRIN nodes. It operates as a Health and Demographic Surveillance, and it was developed to expand and strengthen the previous Dikgale Health and Demographic Surveillance System that has been running at the University of Limpopo since 1995. Dikgale routinely measured burdens of non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. In 2010, the operation expanded to 15 villages with a population of 40 000 people, from an original population of 8000. Each node of SAPRIN is expected to cover a population of around 100 000 people and DIMAMO Population Health Research Centre will achieve this in 2019.
“Serious health conditions persist and often seem intractable due to inequality and poverty. As we step into the information age, it is crucial that we use science-based information to direct development-oriented decisions and to evaluate measurable impacts of pro-poor interventions. This is the way to gain traction and make sustained improvements. We will also embark on implementing interventions, both at the health facilities and community level, to reduce the high burden of disease,” says SAPRIN Director Professor Mark Collinson.
NOTE TO THE EDITOR
SAPRIN is a national network of research centres that monitor the health and socio-economic wellbeing of whole populations with the aim of improving them. It is hosted by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and falls under the ambit of the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap - a programme of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
For more information on SAPRIN: http://saprin.mrc.ac.za/
Tel: +27 71 214 5272