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Tshwane district hosts Research Conference for health workers and students

Tshwane District hosted a Research Conference at the Tshwane Leadership Management Academy on Thursday 14 August where health workers and students presented their research finding on issues related to both Communicable and Non-communicable diseases, mother and child as well as health systems.

The research findings point to challenges in the district's health, but they also provide recommendations as a solution. Some of the research included community-based support groups as mental health care service; Prevalence of adolescent Obesity at a High School in Tshwane; Perception of community stakeholders in participation of adolescents in an HIV vaccine  simulation trail using Gardasil; TB case finding through COPC Ward Based Outreached teams; and the experience of women living with HIV/AIDS in Centurion.

On the perception of community stakeholders in participation of adolescents in an HIV vaccine simulation, some of the challenges, according to Matsontso Mathebula (presenter), there is a great need to educate and and broadly consult stakeholders ina way that serves the interests of communities as well as respect of privacy matters that must be protected by communities.

"Some of the questions that we had to aske ourselves are: should we use children who are under the age of maturity? Are children sexually active?" He said. "Engaging stakeholders successfully requires that the communities involved benefit from the trial as opposed to when they are not involved." But research has found that children are sexually active, adds Dr Mathebula. 

Research findings on women living with HIV/AIDS in Centurion, conducted by Tsitsi Makombe who undertook it in fulfillment of her Masters degree in Public Health with Unisa, included that those diadgnosed with the virus experienced many fears such as physical symptoms, stigma, challenges with needing permission from employers to collect medication from a clinic at least almost once a month, dilemma of whether or not to disclose and whom to disclose to, as well as long waiting periods. "Because the study was done in one centre, ithe outcomes cannot be generalised to the whole of Gauteng," she said. 

The conference continues the whole day where more than 100 delegates from various institutions are in attendance.

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