CHP researchers, Prudence Ditlopo and Nonhlanhla Nxumalo, and PhD fellow, Shakira Choonara, all RESYST emerging researchers, were funded to attend the Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Vancouver in November 2016. They took on different roles as part of capacity development. Prudence was part of a team of facilitators for an organised session; Nonhlanhla was a co-ordinator and part of a group of facilitators for an organised session, while Shakira was organiser/moderator and facilitator in two organised sessions which brought together policy-makers, funders and researchers to draw on the consortia’s work and its importance in fostering everyday resilience. Shakira also facilitated an Emerging Voices for Global Health (EV4GH) Programme training session. The researchers gained the opportunity to expand on their skills to facilitate and lead a discussion. This is beneficial in that it added to the range of skills that are necessary to be active in research. Attending the conference was considered an opportunity to develop and build on the networks established from previous conferences which may lead to collaborative engagements with other emerging researchers. Moreover, the conference provided the space to be exposed to a range of areas of research and methods in Health Policy and Systems Research.
Nonhlanhla Nxumalo also presented an e-poster entitled: “Experiences of Performance Management System at district level in South Africa – a development mentorship of monitoring too?” as part of the RESYST consortium research.
Siphiwe Thwala, another CHP researcher, was funded by WOTRO and the Faculty of Health Sciences and gave a poster presentation titled: “Innovating beyond traditional measurements - health system preparedness for emergency obstetric care in a South African District”. This work was based on some of the findings from the broader MHSAR study, also funded by WOTRO. Siphiwe also attended the Emerging Voices workshop.
PhD fellow and public health physician Ejemai Oborieme, presented a poster entitled “Implementing Evidence-Informed Primary Healthcare Operational Planning: Lessons from a Northern Nigerian State”, which generated a whole lot of interest and feedback from participants. Attending the satellite sessions (particularly the capacity building sessions) exposed him to a new way of thinking about resilience and responsiveness of health systems.
Faith Mambulu, another of CHP’s PhD fellows, presented a poster “A Critical Appraisal of Guidelines Used for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) Healthcare in South Africa” co-authored with her supervisors Professor John Eyles and Doctor Prudence Ditlopo. The study aimed to assess the comprehensiveness and technical quality of guidelines for SAM with the focus on South Africa’s guidelines for SAM healthcare and referral processes. Presented under the theme “Implementing improvement and innovation in health services and systems”, the study revealed the need to use the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) instrument when adapting global guidelines into the South African, as well as low and middle income countries (LMICs), context.