Adolescent Programme

March 2022 – February 2023

The DTHF Adolescent Division seeks to position itself as a responsive role-player in effecting positive change with respect to adolescent health within the specific context of an African youth bulge with high vulnerability to HIV and other sexual reproductive health and non-communicable disease challenges in order to effectively impact the future of adolescents.

The Adolescent programme’s work focused on several key areas in this review period.

Training and capacity building

Several initiatives related to training and capacity building in adolescent research and service delivery were undertaken. Fifteen individuals representing five different Sub-Saharan African countries, participated in the 2022 IAVI adolescent e-fellowship programme, aimed at building capacity in African researchers to conduct research with adolescents. Fellows were linked to mentors who are experts in their fields of interest, and supported to achieve their chosen goals, including writing grants, papers or PhD proposals, while also attending research seminars and other training opportunities. A highlight during 2022 was the opportunity for five Fellows to attend the HIV and Adolescence Workshop hosted in Cape Town in October. In December 2022, a new cohort of fifteen individuals representing six Sub-Saharan African countries, were selected after interviews, to participate in the 2023 IAVI adolescent fellowship programme. They were paired with mentors, and initial meetings between these dyads were held in early 2023.

A 9-week Clinical Research Studies with Adolescents (CRSA) training course was also conducted for 77 research study staff members at four Aurum Institute sites to prepare staff for implementing upcoming research with adolescent participants.

Building capacity to facilitate policy implementation:  A short course in adolescent and youth health in South Africa (nih.gov)

The Adolescent Programme’s team also launched the Adolescents in Research (AIR) Toolkit website, funded by AHISA to provide guidance and support to those conducting research with adolescents.

Adolescents in Research Toolkit (AIRT) – The Adolescents in Research Toolkit (AIRT) provides practical advice to researchers designing and conducting health research to ensure the safe and effective involvement of adolescents, in sub-Saharan Africa.

Here are some direct links to the first few webinars we hosted during the review period

WeMove Webinar YouTube channel where you can access all previously presented webinar

Advocacy

With 90% of all children living with HIV globally, located in Africa, there is a need to focus attention on eliminating mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT) of HIV. Along with EGPAF, the DTHF secured funding to launch Africa REACH (Africa Reaching the End of AIDS in Children and Youth), an African-led and focused initiative intended to unify and amplify strong political and cultural forces to motivate action to fulfill the promise of an AIDS-free generation. This initiative was launched in 2022 and has seen the appointment of key staff including a Project Lead and Communications and Advocacy Advisor; as well as the appointment of a Leadership Council made up of influential Africans from a range of backgrounds including business, politics, media and the arts, led by the First Lady of the Republic of Namibia, H.E, Mrs. Monica Geingos. Africa REACH held its inaugural Leadership Council meeting virtually on 29 June 2022. The meeting had 10 attendants, including Prof Bekker from Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF) and was chaired by the First Lady of the Republic of Namibia H.E, Mrs. Monica Geingos. A youth engagement event was held in August 2022, followed by a soft launch of the initiative at the International HIV and Adolescence Workshop in Cape Town on October 5, attended by over 250 participants of the workshop. The official launch of the project took place at the Africa Union Heads of State Summit in February 2023. Africa REACH also launched its website which can be viewed at the link below:

Home • Africa Reach

Africa REACH is an African-led, African-focused effort intended to fulfil the promise of an AIDS-free generation in Africa.
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