The Desmond Tutu HIV Centre has a number of PhD candidates, one of whom is Funeka Bango, who recently presented her research proposal at UCT’s Faculty of Health Sciences.
The title of Bango’s PhD is Economic evaluation of multicomponent interventions within complex systems: Improving the sexual and reproductive health of school going adolescent girls in South Africa and will make use of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation’s Goals for Girls trial, which compares the impact of different models of sexual reproductive health education among school-going adolescent girls.
Adolescent sexual and reproductive health forms a major proportion of the global burden of sexual ill-health and is a subject in need of research attention in order to make evidence-based policies. In South Africa, research has shown that among other factors, high-risk behaviour underlies the continued vulnerability of the youth to adverse sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Within this group, adolescent girls have been explicitly identified to carry a high risk of HIV, sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.
By developing a conceptual framework for assessment, we expect that the study will strengthen the methods of economic evaluation of public health interventions in low and middle-income countries. We wish Funeka all the best on her research, and look forward to sharing her results.