This year on World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, StatinTB’s Study Coordinator, Nosipho Mkuzangwe, presented the project at an event at the Du Noon Community Health Centre (CHC) in Cape Town, South Africa. The clinic is one of five clinics from where the StatinTB team recruits study participants. Through their participation in the event, StatinTB’s team aimed to boost awareness of both World TB Day and the project and strengthen the bond between StatinTB and the clinic.
World TB Day is commemorated on March 24 each year. This year, the Du Noon CHC organized an outdoor public awareness event on the date to spread knowledge about the disease and the clinic’s work. The day’s program included a one-hour information session, during which StatinTB’s Study Coordinator, Nosipho Mkuzangwe, presented the project. Her presentation was held in both English and Xhosa to make it as accessible and inclusive as possible.
Boosting awareness of TB and StatinTB
StatinTB is coordinated by Dr Reto Guler from the University of Cape Town (UCT). The project’s participation in the Du Noon CHC’s event on World TB Day aimed to help raise TB awareness in the community and spread information about ongoing TB research in general and the StatinTB study in particular. The information session included a short Q&A, during which the StatinTB team stood ready to answer questions about the overall aim of the study and what it means to participate in it.
Recruitment to the StatinTB study began last July and is expected to wrap up by the end of next year. As told in a previous article, the StatinTB recruitment team revised its recruitment process mid-last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the highest level of safety for both study participants and staff. Instead of recruiting in person at the study’s five partner clinics, which was initially planned, the Recruiters, Siphokazi Khonkwane and Ndilisa Siwela, now call up prospective participants to inform them about the study and ask if they are interested in partaking. Those interested and who appear to meet the enrollment criteria are invited to a pre-screening where they are closely checked for eligibility to participate in the study.
Strengthening the bond between StatinTB and the Du Noon CHC
The contact lists that Ms Khonkwane and Ms Siwela use are provided by StatinTB’s partner clinics. A close collaboration between the clinic and the StatinTB consortium helps ensure that the clinic’s staff have all the information needed to promote the study to their patients and can channel the right people to StatinTB’s recruitment team.
Dr Sandra Mukasa, Local Principal Investigator, underscores the importance of having strong relationships with the partner clinics and says that the event on World TB Day helped strengthen the bond between the Du Noon CHC and StatinTB’s consortium.
Nosipho Mkuzangwe giving a presentation about StatinTB at Du Noon CHC’s event on World TB Day.
From the left: Nosipho Mkuzangwe, Du Noon CHC staff member, Dr Karen Wolmarans, Ndilisa Siwela, and Siphokazi Khonkwane.