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December 2018

Study Progress

ECHO Study reaches key milestone

The ECHO Study Management team at the 2018 Investigators’ Meeting in Johannesburg. Photo credit: ECHO Communications

We are excited to announce that 31 October 2018 marked the end of participant follow-up visits in the ECHO Study. Congratulations to the entire ECHO team, and thank you to the participants for helping us to reach this critical milestone!
What's next for ECHO?


Completion of the exit visits marked the end of the data collection phase of the ECHO Study and the beginning of data verification, which involves reviewing all the data—collected from 7,800 women over three years—to make sure that they have been recorded correctly and consistently. Once the data have been verified, the ECHO research team will analyse them, following a detailed statistical analysis plan that is part of the study protocol. The study results are expected in mid-2019.
Site Profiles

 

Madibeng Centre for Research (MCR)


MCR community team members speak to a community member during outreach in Brits. Photo credit: MCR

The Madibeng Centre for Research (MCR) was established in 2001 as a community-based research centre that would generate evidence to help guide health decisions in the community. The MCR’s mission is to conduct high-quality, comprehensive health research. The vision of MCR is to be a sustainable, community-based health research centre of international repute.

MCR began recruiting participants for the ECHO Study on 27 April 2016. In this Q&A, the team reflects on their experience during the study. Read more

We would like to thank Rose Masilo, Community Liaison Officer; Dr Cheryl Louw, Principal Investigator; and the entire Madibeng Centre for Research team for their dedication to this important study and their contributions to this article.

Effective Care Research Unit (ECRU)




Dr Mandisa Singata, Co-Principal Investigator, speaks to community members at an outreach event in East London. Photo credit: ECRU

Effective Care Research Unit (ECRU) is a research unit of the universities of Witwatersrand and Fort Hare, located in East London, South Africa. ECRU’s research specialises in reproductive health outcomes, with focus on hypertensive disorders, postpartum haemorrhage, intrapartum asphyxia, unexplained intrauterine death, unplanned pregnancy and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. As an accredited World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre in Reproductive Health Research Synthesis, the unit trains and conducts quality Cochrane reviews and randomised trials on reproductive health issues in low-income settings.

The ECRU site was activated on 26 February 2016. In this Q&A, the team provides insights into their experience as an ECHO Study site. Read more

We would like to thank Bulelwa Nogidela-Makhutha, Project Manager; Dr Joanne Batting, Study Doctor; Dr Mandisa Singata, Co-Principal Investigator; and the entire Effective Care Research Unit team for their dedication to this important study and their contributions to this article.
 

Qhakaza Mbokodo Research Clinic




QM team members. Photo credit: QM

The Qhakaza Mbokodo (QM) Research Clinic in Ladysmith, KwaZulu Natal, has conducted microbicide studies for HIV prevention since 2007 and served as one of the sites for FACTS studies. The research centre is affiliated with Ladysmith Hospice Association, which has been involved with community mobilisation, home-based care for people living with HIV, care for affected orphans and children, and monitoring patients on antiretroviral therapy from the Ladysmith Provincial Project since 2000.

QM was activated as an ECHO Study site on 16 March 2016. In this Q&A, the QM team shares their experience over the past 18 months. Read more


We would like to thank Thulani Mazibuko, Community Liaison, Recruitment and Retention Manager; Dr Sydney Sibiya, Principal Investigator; and the entire Qhakaza Mbokodo Research Clinic team for their dedication to this important study and their contributions to this article.

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Good Participatory Practices (GPP)


Community dialogues and civil society forums to inform dissemination 



Community dialogue delegates in Kisumu, Kenya. Photo credit: KEMRI

The ECHO Study and its partners held a series of civil society forums and community dialogues from March to June 2018. These events were convened in partnership with the 12 ECHO sites, the study’s Global Community Advisory Group (GCAG), AVAC and the International Community of Women with HIV (ICW), with support from the South African Medical Research Council and AVAC.

The 12 dialogues strengthened relationships between communities and researchers and provided an opportunity for site staff to engage with a wider range of stakeholders. They also provided a platform for open communication about disparities between national guidelines and practice and improved community stakeholders’ knowledge of challenges in contraceptive provision. The questions raised at the dialogues and the recommendations from the participants will inform the development of a broader strategy for the dissemination of ECHO Study results in mid-2019.
World Contraception Day 2018 

Four ECHO sites — KEMRI, Setshaba Research Centre, MaTCH Commercial City and MaTCH Edendale — participated in the 2018 World Contraception Day, an annual event commemorated on the 26th of September. This participation provided ECHO research sites an opportunity to forge and strengthen relations with critical local stakeholders and to help strengthen community education on contraceptives for adolescents and young women — a key recommendation from the 2018 ECHO community dialogues. 
World Contraception Day events were held at four ECHO sites (clockwise from top left): KEMRI in Kisumu, Kenya; Setshaba Research Centre in Soshanguve, South Africa; MatCH Research Unit, Commercial City, in Durban; and Madibeng Centre for Research in Brits, South Africa.

News from the field

Could your favourite birth control put you at risk of HIV? 
By Kristen  Van Schie, Bhekisisa

We could be just months away from knowing whether Depo-Provera use is linked to a higher risk of HIV infection in women. Read more

Upcoming Events

2–3 March 2019   –  9th International Workshop on Women and HIV
4–7 March 2019   –  Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) 2019
14–17 May 2019  –  INTEREST 2019
3–6 June 2019     –  Women Deliver 2019
11–14 June 2019 –  9th South Africa AIDS Conference
21–24 July 2019  –  10th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Science

Thank you for your support!


Dear Reader,

We are sad to announce that this will be the last issue of the ECHO Update. We have thoroughly enjoyed keeping you informed of the ECHO Study milestones and activities over the past three years. Past issues of the ECHO Update are available here.

Please note that we will continue to send email announcements about HIV-HC conference activities, resources and other news.

Thank you so much for your support over the years. We look forward to continued engagement.

ECHO Study team






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ECHO Comms Team · 22 Esselen Street · Hillbrow · Johannesburg, Gauteng 2001 · South Africa

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