Newsletter - South AfricAn

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                                                                       On behalf of all of us at the SACC best wishes for a joyful festive season
                                                                                       and a peaceful and prosperous new year

                                                  South AfricAn
                                                  co c h r a n e
                                                  train the trainers
                                                  The update of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of
                                                                                                                                      support to training for a broader audience including users of reviews.
                                                                                                                                      There are limited examples of Centres providing online author training
                                                  Interventions, the release of RevMan 5, and the introduction of new
                                                                                                                                      or expanding the scope of training to include special topics such as
                                                  types of reviews (overviews of reviews and diagnostic test accuracy
                                                                                                                                      complex interventions and diagnostic test accuracy reviews.
                                                  reviews) present significant training and implementation challenges for
                                                                                                                                  2. The need to improve communication and co-ordination of author
                                                  the Collaboration.
                                                                                                                                      training between Centres and Review Groups. Centre staff are
                                                                                                                                      encouraged to make contact with the relevant Review Groups to
                                                  In response to these challenges, The Cochrane Collaboration Steering
                                                                                                                                      inform them which authors have received training.
                                                  Group approved and funded a strategic training meeting which was held
                                                                                                                                  3. There is widespread support for the development of approved
                                                  in Cambridge, UK, from July 28-30, 2008. The objectives of the meeting
                                                                                                                                      centralised training resources to promote consistency in the content
                                                  were to:
                                                                                                                                      and quality of training provided to authors.
                                                  o	 explain the rationale and methodology for the major new material in
                                                                                                                                  4. The need to develop alternative ways for delivering training and
                                                      the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and
                                                                                                                                      support, and the development of online training was acknowledged
                                                      RevMan 5 (including ‘risk of bias’ tables, ‘summary of findings’ tables,
                                                                                                                                      as an integral component of future training strategies.
                                                      new statistical methods and diagnostic test accuracy reviews);
                                                                                                                                  5. Editors have an important role in implementing new methods and
                                                  o	 discuss the development of high quality training materials and
                                                                                                                                      providing support to authors but are served least well by existing
                                                      resources for providing training and support;
                                                                                                                                      training activities. Opportunities for dedicated editor training need to
                                                  o	 discuss ongoing and future strategies for implementing new methods
                                                                                                                                      be expanded.
                                                      across the Collaboration.
                                                                                                                                  6. Implement a cascade approach to training of new methods, starting
                                                                                                                                      with trainers, entity staff and editors before extending to experienced
                                                  Attendees included representatives from each of the 13 Cochrane Centres,
                                                                                                                                      authors and finally new authors.
                                                  Review Groups, Methods Groups, Information Management System
                                                  Group and Steering Group. A combination of presentations and small
                                                                                                                                  A proposal to form a working group to liaise with the Steering Group
                                                  group discussions were used to present new methodologies and updates,
                                                                                                                                  on issues related to training has been developed and presented to the
                                                  and discuss the scope of training offered by the various entities.
                                                                                                                                  Steering Group. At the Cochrane Colloquium in Freiburg an agreement
                                                                                                                                  was reached for the establishment of the Training Working Group which
                                                  Key issues identified and discussed                                             will be representative of all constituents.
                                                  1. Training provided by Centres varies according to the local context and
                                                      demand, from training for new and existing Cochrane authors through
                                                                                                                                  Taryn Young
                                                      face-to-face workshops supplemented by email and telephone
                                                                                                                                  SACC Consultant

                                                  What’s in this issue:
                                                   Train the Trainer                                                   Page 1        Research Synthesis Course in Cameroon                               Page 6
                                                   From The Cochrane Library                                           Page 2        Evidence-Based Medicine in the Heart of Africa                      Page 7
                                                   East Africa to East London and Back                                 Page 3        Announcements                                                       Page 8
                                                   Mike Clarke visits South Africa                                     Page 4-5      17th Cochrane Colloquium                                            Page 8
     From the CoChrane Library
                                                    Plain language summaries of evidence
treatment of acute                                   up blood. In people who have tuberculosis, it          or within 24 hours is most common. Possible
cryptococcal meningitis                              becomes active in about 5% to 10% of people            causes are the uterus failing to contract after
in hiV infected adults,                              who are HIV negative, and around 50% of                delivery (uterine atony), a retained placenta,
with an emphasis on                                  people who are HIV positive. Tuberculosis is           inverted or ruptured uterus, and cervical,
resource-limited settings                            treated with a combination of antibiotic drugs         vaginal, or perineal lacerations.
Despite the advent and increasingly wide             that must be taken for a period of at least six        In well-resourced settings haemorrhage is
availability of antiretroviral therapy for people    months to ensure success. If left untreated,           reduced by routine active management of
with HIV/AIDS, cryptococcal meningitis remains       around half of those with active tuberculosis          delivery of the placenta, the third stage of
a significant cause of death and illness amongst     will die of the disease. This review looked to         labour.
individuals with HIV infection in resource-          see whether nutritional supplements might help
limited settings (poor countries). The ideal way     people to recover better when they were being          Facilities for resuscitation, blood transfusion
to manage cryptococcal meningitis remains            treated for tuberculosis. The review identified        and surgical interventions are also available.
unclear. The main aim of this review was to          12 trials involving 3393 people, mostly adults.        The 2004 joint statement of the International
determine the best treatment for cryptococcal        The trials covered many different nutritional          Confederation of Midwives and the International
meningitis in resource-limited settings. In          supplements and provided only limited evidence         Federation of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians
these settings, usually only Amphotericin and        that supplements may help. High energy                 recommends routine massage of the uterus
Fluconazole are available. The authors found         supplements, multiple micronutrients combined          after delivery of the placenta to promote
no suitable studies that compared these two          with zinc and zinc combined with vitamin A             contraction. This involves placing a hand on the
drugs. Because Flucytosine, which works well         showed promise. Also the combination of                woman’s lower abdomen and stimulating the
with Amphotericin, is often not available in         zinc and multiple micronutrients may reduce            uterus by repetitive massaging or squeezing
poor countries, policy makers and government         the number of people with tuberculosis who             movements to stimulate uterine contraction.
officials should consider using this drug for HIV    are also HIV positive who die. There was               The present review included one controlled
treatment programmes. Future research into           not enough evidence available to assess fully          trial that randomly assigned 200 women to
the management of cryptococcal meningitis            the effectiveness of any other combination of          either uterine massage or no massage after
in resource-limited settings should focus on         nutrients. Further trials are needed that are large    active management of the third stage of labour,
the most effective use of medications that are       enough, conducted in areas where tuberculosis          including the routine use of oxytocin.
available in these settings.                         is prevalent, and assess the supplements that
                                                     have shown promise in these initial studies.           Uterine massage given every 10 minutes for
Sloan D, Dlamini S, Paul N, Dedicoat M. Treatment
of acute cryptococcal meningitis in HIV infected                                                            60 minutes after birth effectively reduced blood
                                                     Abba K, Sudarsanam TD, Grobler L, Volmink J.
adults, with an emphasis on resource-limited                                                                loss, and the need for additional uterotonics,
settings. Cochrane Database of Systematic            Nutritional supplements for people being treated for
                                                     active tuberculosis. Cochrane Database of Systematic   by some 80%. The number of women losing
Reviews 2008, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD005647. DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD005647.pub2.                      Reviews 2008, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD006086. DOI:        more than 500 ml of blood also appeared to
                                                                                                            be halved. Two women in the control group
                                                                                                            and none in the uterine massage group needed
nutritional supplements                              uterine massage for
                                                                                                            blood transfusions. This one included study had
for people being treated                             preventing postpartum
                                                                                                            a small sample size so the confidence intervals
for active tuberculosis                              haemorrhage                                            were wide. The chance of bias with respect to
Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that mostly    Bleeding from the genital tract after childbirth
                                                                                                            blood loss assessment was minimised by using
affects the lungs (pulmonary tuberculosis),          (postpartum haemorrhage) is a major cause
                                                                                                            objective direct measurement. Disadvantages
but it can also affect the nerves, circulation,      of maternal mortality and disability in under-
                                                                                                            to massage include the use of staff time and
bones, and joints. It can occur in a ‘latent         resourced areas with poor access to health
                                                                                                            discomfort to the women.
phase’ where people are infected but suffer no       services. It is the leading cause of maternal
symptoms. However, with active tuberculosis          mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa and Egypt and          Hofmeyr GJ, Abdel-Aleem H, Abdel-Aleem MA.
the symptoms include cough, chest pain,              yet is largely preventable. In these settings, poor    Uterine massage for preventing postpartum
                                                                                                            haemorrhage. Cochrane Database of Systematic
fever, night sweats, weight loss, becoming           nutrition, malaria and anaemia add to the health
                                                                                                            Reviews 2008, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD006431. DOI:
tired easily, and sometimes people cough             risk. Heavy bleeding directly following childbirth     10.1002/14651858.CD006431.pub2.

    PA G E 2
East Africa to East London and back
When I was asked by Prof. Jimmy Volmink if
I could help teach a systematic review course
in East London, South Africa from 17-19 July
2008, I was delighted. The journey began
four years ago. In 2004, I was exposed to
the SACC’s virulent infectious enthusiasm for
systematic reviews at a one-day workshop
in Pretoria. The condition got worse and the
following year I was admitted for a month in the
intensive RAP unit at the SACC in Cape Town.
In the RAP (Reviews for Africa Programme) the
skills for conducting a systematic review were
administered through every route possible and
a year later, I had a completed review. A lot
has happened since then. I later worked at the
Cochrane Eyes & Vision Review Group in the
USA where I trained and supported Cochrane
authors and also co-authored some reviews. A          authorities. Most of them were working in South
chance to teach at the course in East London          Africa but we had participants from as far afield
was a time to give back to Africa; something          as Uganda, Cameroon, Nigeria and the Sudan.
akin to the clinical training dictum that says ‘see
one, do one, teach one’.                              The objectives were to equip participants with
                                                      knowledge, skills and mentorship to:
I was briefed about attending the 8th Effective           •	 Plan, conduct, analyse and publish a
Care Research Unit (ECRU) research methods                   randomised clinical trial; follow ‘Good
course in East London and teach some allotted                Clinical Practice’ (GCP) guidelines
lectures on behalf of the SACC. The course was            •	 Conduct a Cochrane Review for
presented by ECRU, Department of Obstetrics                  publication in The Cochrane Library
and Gynaecology of East London Hospital                   •	 Use Review Manager, Epi-info, WHO
Complex, Eastern Cape Department of Health,                  Reproductive Health Library and The
in collaboration with the University of Fort Hare,           Cochrane Library.
and the SACC. Prof. Justus Hofmeyr was the
course leader.                                        The participants were well prepared. They
                                                      had completed some pre-course preparation
The travel arrangements were smoothly                 that included study materials which were sent
handled by the teams at the SACC and ECRU.            to them via email or CD (16 hours of study).
I arrived in East London on Wednesday,                Discussions after each session brought out
16th July 2008 at the Regent Hotel where the          interesting questions. Simulation on computers
course started the next day. The participants         using dummy data to design a trial and conduct      conducting reviews. The SACC is already in
were medical doctors and other health                 a mini-review was very creative. We covered         touch with some of them. The epidemic has
professionals    intending    to   undertake     a    more than I thought was possible. What I learnt     gone full cycle.
randomised clinical trial or a Cochrane Review.       will be useful in conducting training in Kenya.
Some were practicing clinicians and others            Awareness of Cochrane Reviews was created           Stephen Gichuhi
were managers from the Provincial health              and some participants indicated an interest in      Associate Staff, SACC

                                                                                                              PA G E 3
                                                                                                        everyone making decisions about health care.

                                                                                                        I learned many other things in the four weeks,
                                                                                                        too numerous to mention. The ability to surf
                                                                                                        or climb better were not among them. I left
                                                                                                        that to Tom and Lorcan. Rather, I learned a
                                                                                                        new word “peri-urban” as a categorisation
                                                                                                        between rural and urban and discovered that
                                                                                                        the word shebeen has moved from Ireland to
                                                                                                        South Africa, while the description of midwives
                                                                                                        “catching” rather than “delivering” babies may
                                                                                                        have gone in the opposite direction. I learned
                                                                                                        that some primary care facilities in Cape Town

Contrasts between North and South are              revealed the wide breadth of the much needed         need metal detectors and security guards to
apparent in many different parts of the world. I   research being planned. A week-long MRC              get people to leave guns outside, and I got a
grew up in England, as a northerner who went       workshop on randomised trials is described on        sense of the drama of the first heart transplant
to the south to go to university and then to       page 5 and exciting topics were discussed at         at the Groote Schuur (as well as learning
work. I now live in Dublin, on an island where     that and elsewhere. I learned about the plans for    how to pronounce the name of this hospital).
north and south are associated with a major        new research into treatments for tuberculosis,       I also discovered that Vin de Constance from
political divide. Recalling the time my family     epilepsy and arthritis; interventions to reduce      Klein Constantia outside Cape Town is the
and I spent in Cape Town in July and August        high-risk sexual behaviour and the risk of           best sweet white wine I have ever tasted.
2008, we experienced some of the more              transmission of AIDS; and strategies to improve
extreme contrasts between north and south          the use of evidence in occupational therapy          The challenges of doing good research are
in terms of geography, resources and health.       and the quality of routine data collection.          great. But nowhere near as great as the
                                                                                                        challenges of living with illness and poverty.
Two things that didn’t differ, one more serious    These trials, and the practice of health care,       In four weeks in Cape Town I saw both and I
than the other, were the weather and the           should be informed by knowledge from                 left with a strong sense of the commitment to
need for a reliable evidence base to maintain      systematic reviews. South Africa is already          improve healthcare research, and thereby health
and improve health. In fact, the weather did       making an important contribution to this through     care and ultimately health. I am grateful to many
differ. The South African “winter” this year       the work of The Cochrane Collaboration. Nearly       people for this opportunity and I look forward to
probably was quite different to the northern       200 people are actively involved in the work of      visiting again with Nandi, Jimmy, Joy, Elizabeth
“summer” we left behind, surpassing the            Cochrane Review Groups and there are now             and others at the SACC. Hopefully, next time,
Irish weather in both warmth and sunshine.         100 protocols or full Cochrane Reviews with an       I and everyone else in the country will have
                                                   author from South Africa. In 2007, more than         one click entry to The Cochrane Library on
The right to health is universal. A major          8000 Cochrane Reviews were downloaded                the internet and be able to access in full the
challenge for those of us involved in health       from The Cochrane Library in South Africa. The       knowledge that so many people in South
research is how to ensure that the studies         review of antiretrovirals for reducing the risk of   Africa and around the world are compiling.
we do will help people to enjoy that right. Our    mother-to-child transmission of HIV infection
systematic reviews and trials need to tackle       by Jimmy Volmink, Nandi Siegfried, Lize van          The world and South Africa have come a very
questions that matter to people who will benefit   der Merwe and Peter Brocklehurst led the way         long way in the forty years since one of the most
from the improved knowledge and to the people      with 143 downloads in the year. This is also         dramatic interventions in health care, staring
who will take part in the studies. I saw how       in the top 100 Cochrane Reviews worldwide,           at an empty chest before transplanting a new
this is being implemented in southern Africa,      with more than 1700 downloads from the               heart. Most research might be more mundane
and how strong is the desire to make research      Wiley InterScience site alone in 2007. A goal        than this but it can still be a matter of life and
relevant and to make research possible. This       now is to make The Cochrane Library free at          death. Even when it isn’t so stark, the need
includes efforts to build systems to provide       the point of use to everyone in South Africa. I      to do, and use, the best research possible to
training and support for people doing, and         wish the SACC well in their negotiations with        resolve uncertainties that matter is a challenge
using, research. I also learned a great deal.      Wiley-Blackwell to achieve this and to make          to us all. North and South. Meeting that
                                                   the global effort of The Cochrane Collaboration      challenge is the duty of researchers, because
Working with students and other researchers        readily available to everyone who needs it -         having that challenge met is the right of people.

    PA G E 4
                                                         tuberculosis or vaccines against HIV, we
  Mrc clinical trials                                    heard about trials in which clusters of people
  Workshop                                               would be randomised together. Anti-retroviral
  Over five days from July 28, the walls of old          clinics being randomised to strategies to
  prison cells in the Breakwater Lodge in Cape           improve adherence with medication and
  Town were decorated with papers setting                healthcare facilities being randomised to
  out the designs and challenges of a dozen              receive training designed to improve the
  randomised trials. The workshop will hopefully         quality of their data. A modification of a cluster
  prove to have been a successful pilot for a            trial, the stepped wedge design, also cropped
  series to be organised by Nandi Siegfried,             up as a way to use randomisation to roll out
  within a proposed clinical trial support unit          an intervention to reduce high-risk sexual
  of the Medical Research Council, to help               behaviour, which would be implemented
  researchers in South Africa do South African           in a small group of bars and shebeens.

  trials. The workshop provided an opportunity
  for enthusiastic researchers from across the
  country to discuss their ideas, to develop their
  plans and to optimise the design of their trials.

  On the first day, we heard about each of the
  twelve trials, and the questions that these were
  being planned to answer. Then, on the last day,
  we saw the structure of each trial, discussed
  its feasibility and wished each other well
  with its conduct. In between, we discussed
  the role of systematic reviews in designing
  and interpreting trials; tackled the challenges
  of recruiting patients to take part and of
  encouraging colleagues to join in; explored
  ways to perform the random allocation;
  defined outcome measures; and planned the
  writing up of a report of each trial’s findings.       There was also a trial in which matched
                                                         pairs of occupational therapists would be
  Questions, trials, problems and solutions were         formed, with one from each pair then being
  wide ranging. There is not enough space to             randomised to receive enhanced training in
  mention them all here, but we had everything from      the principles of evidence based practice.
  studies to see how a drug is absorbed into the
  body; through attempts to change the behaviour         The desire to improve evidence based
  of regular, heavy drinkers; to ways to improve         practice and evidence based decision making
  the quality of the routine recording of health data.   across healthcare, and across healthcare
                                                         professions and the public, was a driving
  We were able to explore a variety of different         force between the workshop. The richness of
  types of designs for randomised trials. As             the ideas, and the depth of the desire to do
  well as trials in which individuals would be           the best trials possible, bodes well for future
  randomised to take different medicines for             research, future practice and future health.

  Mike Clarke is Director of the UK Cochrane Centre in Oxford (England) and Adjunct Professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College
  Dublin (Ireland). He was at the SACC for four weeks in July and August 2008, thanks in part to funding from the Oppenheimer Fund of the University
  of Oxford and the South African Medical Research Council. Mike’s family; Teresa and their two boys, Tom and Lorcan; joined him during his stay.

                                                                                                              PA G E 5
ReseaRch synthesis couRse,
univeRsity of Buea, cameRoon
In fulfillment of the mission to promote the           critically appraise the methodological quality of   opportunity to learn from the facilitators and
science of research synthesis and the practice         included studies, and extract data. Later in the    colleagues. On the whole, the participants,
of evidence-based health care in sub-Saharan           workshop, participants were introduced to data      most of whom were being introduced to these
Africa, the SACC organised a workshop on               analysis using RevMan 5, presenting results         concepts of research synthesis for the first
systematic reviews and meta-analysis in                and drawing conclusions. This was followed          time, were thrilled and very much interested in
Cameroon. This course took place from 3-5              by interactive presentations on how to access       conducting and accessing systematic reviews.
July 2008 at the University of Buea, an Anglo-         and critically appraise systematic reviews,
Saxon university in the southwest part of the          in order to ensure that the best research           Just so you know, the city of Buea is located
country, under the auspices of the Dean of the         evidence is incorporated into health policy and     on the eastern slopes of Mount Cameroon;
Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof Peter Ndumbe.         practice. The numerous practical sessions           which at 4095m above sea level is the highest
                                                       accompanying the presentations enhanced             peak in west and central Africa. The mountain
                                                       proper understanding of the above concepts          is an active volcano and the most recent
                                                       by the participants. They were encouraged           volcanic eruption occurred on 28 May 2000.
                                                       to consider conducting a systematic review.         The first recorded volcanic eruption of this
                                                                                                           mountain was in the 5th century before Christ,
                                                       A practical session                                 as observed by the Carthaginian navigator
                                                                                                           Hannon. Hannon is said to have arrived on the
                                                                                                           coast when the mountain was in eruption, and
                                                                                                           named it the “Chariot of Gods” because of the
                                                                                                           huge flames rising from the summit into the sky.

Prof Peter Ndumbe, facilitating a
discussion session

Sixteen medical doctors and other health
professionals, all academic staff of the
university, took part in the training. The three-day
workshop consisted of interactive presentations
and practical exercises separated by coffee
(and tea) breaks and lunches. During this              Group photograph
period, the participants were introduced to The
Cochrane Collaboration, its objectives, activities     The quality, content, and amount of new
and relevance to Africa. They were taught how          knowledge acquired at the end of each
to distinguish between traditional reviews and         interactive presentation and each day was           Mount Cameroon in eruption
systematic reviews. In addition, there were            assessed by most of the participants as good        (source:
sessions on how to frame an answerable                 and useful. Although they expected more             img/couleeMtCameroun.jpg)
systematic review question, search for studies         focus on reviewing simple research methods
using    comprehensive       search     strategies,    and statistical analysis, they thought the          Ruth Kernyuy Bame
select studies for inclusion in the review,            presentations were wonderful and an excellent       Cameroon

    PA G E 6
evidence-Based medicine in the
heaRt of afRica
The Republic of Rwanda is a landlocked
country situated in central Africa. This
country, the most densely populated on the
African continent, has received considerable
international attention because of the 1994
genocide in which more than 800,000 people
are believed to have been killed. I visited this
“land of a thousand hills” (another name for the
small and beautiful country) in late September
2008. During the visit, I did not have time to           programme is to deliver independent health             project. The take-home message we sought to
measure my steps on the slopes of any of                 care professionals capable of developing,              impart in the participants (who seemed satisfied
the hills (not even one!), because I was sent            conducting     and      disseminating       clinical   with the course) was that integration is vital in
by the SACC to join staff of the Royal Tropical          research pertaining to disease prevention,             evidence-based      medicine.      Epidemiological
Institute (Netherlands) and co-facilitate an             diagnosis, treatment and implementation.               evidence is indispensable, but not sufficient, for
evidence-based medicine course at the School             During the five days, we used interactive              decision-making. Right healthcare decisions
of Public Health, National University of Rwanda.         presentations, group work, exercises and               require     the   decision-maker      to     integrate
The one-week course is one of a series of applied        case studies to teach randomised controlled            epidemiological evidence with the local context,
clinical research courses which constitute the           trials, systematic reviews, and evidence-based         his or her clinical (or public health) expertise,
research and capacity-building programme of              medicine (etiology, therapy and prognosis).            and patient (or community) preferences. That,
the Infectious diseases Network for Treatment            The participants were 10 mid-level health              in a nutshell, is what evidence-based medicine
and Research in Africa (INTERACT); led                   professionals who had enrolled for a Master of         (or evidence-based health care) is all about.
by the Academic Medical Centre and the                   Public Health degree at the National University
Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, The                 of Rwanda or PhD at the Academic Medical               Charles Shey Umaru Wiysonge
Netherlands. The overall objective of the training       Center in Amsterdam, under the INTERACT                Senior Scientist, SACC

the 16th cochRane colloquium in fReiBuRg, geRmany
The 16th Cochrane Colloquium was held in                 • Health Care and Globalisation: does                  It was however not all work! The welcome
Freiburg, Germany from 3 – 7 October. Freiburg              Evidence make a difference?                         reception was held in the Historical Merchant
is a beautiful city in the Rhine valley at the edge of   • Globalising Knowledge Translation for                Hall, a 500 year old building. We were also
the famous Black Forest and is steeped in history.          evidence-based care                                 treated to a sumptuous buffet dinner in
The central city is compact and everything is            Multimedia material for the plenary sessions           the Concert Hall which was miraculously
within walking distance. To get to Freiburg, we          is available at        transformed from an auditorium into a dining
flew to Frankfurt and then took the train which          colloquium_2008/                                       and dancing hall.      According to those who
afforded us the chance to see the countryside.                                                                  attended the farewell function in the Jazzhall, it
                                                         There were so many interesting and varied              was a rousing success and the party continued
The program was jam-packed with meetings,                parallel oral sessions that deciding which one         into the early hours of the morning.
workshop and presentations. Each day started             to attend proved very difficult. There were three
with a plenary session followed by oral                  poster presentations flying the South African          A special thanks to Gerd Antes and his team for a
presentations with the afternoons devoted to             flag. The titles of the posters were as follows:       wonderful and extremely successful colloquium!
a wide range of workshops. The main theme                •	 Online information portal for evidence-             I would recommend that anyone involved in the
of the Colloquium was “Evidence in the era of               based research on anxiety and trauma-               Collaboration attend a colloquium as it provides
gloabalisation”. The specific topics covered                related disorders;                                  the opportunity to network with international
were:                                                    •	 Reviews for Africa Programme: what 3                collaborators and benefit from workshops on
• Non-inferiority trials: is ‘no better than’               years of RAPping can do for you!;                   the latest developments related to Cochrane
   plainly unethical or simply inevitable?               •	 Identification and characterisation of              software,     methodology       and        processes.
• Raising the bar – prioritising, partnering,               systematic reviews in HIV/AIDS.
   enhancing quality and updating Cochrane                                                                      Elizabeth Pienaar
   Reviews                                                                                                      Senior Scientist, SACC

                                                                                                                    PA G E 7

                                                          Welcome to a new face of The                               Congratulations to
                                                           Cochrane Collaboration!                            Elizabeth Pienaar on her 21 year
                                                      Twinkle twinkle tiny light, little eyes that shine             long-service award.
                                                      so bright.                                               Elizabeth receiving her award from the MRC
                                                      Congratulations to Nandi Siegfried                            president, Prof Anthony Mbewu
The SACC welcomes Babalwa Zani                        (SACC co-director) and her husband on the
Babalwa Zani is a medical microbiologist, who
                                                      birth of their son, Nicholas.
worked as a medical research intern with the
Malaria Research programme at the Medical
Research Council in Durban before joining the
SACC as a scientist. Babalwa has a strong
background in HIV/AIDS, reproductive health,                                                                 Martin Meremikwu awarded
and malaria. She holds a B.Sc Hons. in medical                                                                the Kenneth Warren Prize
microbiology with the University of Fort Hare and
currently in the final stage of her Masters degree
in biochemistry with the University of Kwazulu
Natal. Babalwa is conducting a Cochrane
Review “Artemisinin-based combination therapy
for treating uncomplicated malaria” with the
Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group at the
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK.
Babalwa is the Trials Search Co-ordinator for         Congratulations to Martin Meremikwu, Director of the Nigerian Branch of the SACC, on winning

the Cochrane HIV/AIDS Review Group and is             the Kenneth Warren Prize at the Cochrane Colloquium in Freiburg. This prize is awarded

responsible for the management of the Group’s         annually to an author resident in a low- or middle-income country. The title of Martin’s winning

Specialised Register.                                 review is “Chemoprophylaxis and intermittent treatment for preventing malaria in children”.

                                               17th CoChrane Colloquium
                                               11-14 october 2009, SingAporE
                                    The Singapore Branch of the Australasian Cochrane Centre will host the 2009 Cochrane Colloquium from 11-14
                                    October in Singapore. Annual Cochrane Colloquia are held to promote and develop the work of the Collaboration,
                                    and to help shape its future direction.

                                    Abstract submission:                                      15 April 2009
                                    Notification of Abstract acceptance:                      18 May 2009
                                    Consumer and developing country stipends:                 01 June 2009
                                    Notification of stipend acceptance:                       29 June 2009
                                    Early registration:                                       13 July 2009
                                    Meeting room request:                                     10 August 2009
                                    Hotel registration deadline:                              01 September 2009
                                    Cancellation deadline:                                    14 September 2009

                                    For more information, please visit the website:

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