Commissioned Work

SACEMA has assisted decision-makers throughout Africa to model, analyse, and improve health outcomes in their countries

SACEMA during listeriosis outbreak

In 2017-2018, South Africa experienced a listeriosis outbreak of unprecedented scale, with more than 1000 laboratory-confirmed cases. In Week 8 of 2018, the national Department of Health issued a nationwide recall of the processed meat products implicated in the outbreak. To help set expectations about the decline of the outbreak, SACEMA developed a model-based forecast for how case numbers would respond to the product recall. Subsequent comparison of model projections and the actual number of cases showed that the model captured the key features of the decline. These projections helped set and communicate expectations for the outbreak’s decline, increasing situational awareness and providing a benchmark against which incoming data could be assessed.

Dynamics of COVID-19 in Africa

SACEMA has been involved in several initiatives related to modelling COVID-19 dynamics in South Africa and across the continent. For example, early in the pandemic, SACEMA’s Modelling and Analysis Response Team (SMART) partnered with researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) to develop forecasts of the timing of the first 1,000 and 10,000 cases in African countries in the absence of any intervention measures. This work was published in the journal Eurosurveillance.

In addition, SACEMA Director Prof. Juliet Pulliam is a core member of the South African COVID-19 Modelling Consortium’s (SACMC) modelling team and serves on the South Africa National Department of Health’s Ministerial Advisory Committee for COVID-19.

MaxART – Maximising Antiretroviral Treatment for better health and zero new HIV infections

Providing early treatment to people living with HIV improves health outcomes and considerably reduces their chance of transmitting the virus. Universal access has the potential to become a social and economic game changer by decreasing new infections. The SACEMA MaxART team has built a simulation model to assess the reduction of HIV incidence and mortality by various HIV treatment policies. MaxART is a partnership between the eSwatini government and local and international non-profit organisations and academic institutions.