Non-communicable diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, are serious public health problems in South Africa, and patients' knowledge of risks and compliance with medication regimes remains very low. This is a huge societal problem, as is HIV/Aids, but there is little research on how antiretroviral therapy affects such diseases.

 

To address this gap, a new centre will be launched at the University of Limpopo on Monday, 10th December 2018, to boost South Africa's research into inequality, poverty and population health including non-communicable diseases.

 

The DIMAMO Population Health Research Centre is expected to inform interventions to significantly improve the health and socio-economic well-being of the whole population.

 

This state-of-the-art research centre is a node of the South African Population Research Infrastructure Network (SAPRIN).  Established in 2016, 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.

 

Hosted by the South African Medical Research Council, SAPRIN is a national network of research centres that monitor the health and socio-economic well-being of whole populations with the aim of improving quality of life.

 

SAPRIN will create a harmonised national research platform, linked with universities and research councils, covering a spectrum of rural and urban settings, and with relationships to key government ministries. Its research scope includes vital events such as birth and death (by cause), residence status and migration, household dynamics, socio-economic status, disease risk, employment, education status and social protection.

 

In 2017 the DIMAMO Population Health Research Centre became one of the first SAPRIN nodes. It operates as a health and demographic surveillance system, and 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 from an original population of 8 000 to a population of 40 000 people, in 15 villages.

 

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.

 

The media are invited as follows

Date:          Monday, 10 November

Venue:       University of Limpopo, DIMAMO Population Health Research Centre

Time:         10:00

 

For RSVPs and media queries, please contact Veronica Mohapeloa at 083 400 5750.