Health

Disability grant terminations and virologic and immunologic response to ARV treatment
In South Africa, persons too ill to work qualify for a disability grant (DG). The disability grant may have a disincentive effect, with ARV patients facing the dilemma of trading off the stable source of income in the form of the disability grant against their current and/or future health and adhering sub-optimally to treatment so as to not lose the grant. This paper employs longitudinal, panel data from two Free State cohorts of public sector ARV clients to determine how disability grant terminations may impact on virologic and immunologic treatment outcomes.

Principal researcher: Professor Frikkie Booysen (University of the Free State: Department of Economics)
Professor Frikkie Booysen, who hails from Namibia, holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Stellenbosch. The main emphasis of the primary research conducted during his 12-year career at the University of the Free State (UFS) has focused on the socio-economic impacts of HIV and AIDS at the household- and patient-levels, the results of which have been published in various national and international academic journals.


Agricultural bio-diversity for better nutrition, health and production systems in sub-Saharan Africa: A case study
The main aim of this study was to provide empirical evidence of how the role of agricultural biodiversity can be translated into improved health and nutritional status, improved livelihoods and more sustainable production systems in contemporary poor rural and urban communities in the North-West Province of South Africa. The ultimate goal of this research aimed to identify the variety of edible traditional and indigenous plants in this province that could be used as more sustainable food resources, with a longer growing and therefore harvesting season and which are more drought and cold resistant. It also addressed the need for more systematic studies to fill in the gaps in knowledge on the nutritional value of local edible traditional and indigenous plants.

Principal researcher: Professor Annamarie Kruger (North-West University, African Unit – Trans-disciplinary Health)
Annamarie Kruger is the director of the Africa Unit for Transdisciplinary Health Research (AUTHeR) at North-West University, leading research in nursing, psychology, social work, consumer sciences and occupational health. Formally trained as a registered nurse, she has extensive experience in implementing and evaluating public health intervention programmes. She is a founding member of the SA Higher Education Community Engagement Forum (SAHESEF) and is the leader of the working group on research and community engagement, tasked to develop national guidelines to integrate research in community engagement. She is also the principle South African investigator in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study, the Sustainable Nutrition Research for Africa in the Years to Come (SUNRAY) study and the Biodiversity for Better Health study.