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Effective Care Research Unit

Director: Professor Justus Hofmeyr

The Effective Care Research Unit (ECRU) was established as a research unit of the Univeristy of the Witwatersrand in 1988. In 2000 the unit relocated to the East London Hospital Complex and continued funtioning as a Wits University Unit, in collaboration with University of Fort Hare and the Eastern Cape Department of Health.

The Unit focuses on high quality randomized clinical trials, Cochrane Systematic reviews and research training to improve reproductive health outcomes in low-income countries. The ECRU has been accredited as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaboration Centre in Reproductive Health Research Synthesis. Effective Care Research Unit research priorities:

  • Hypertensive disorders
  • Postpartum haemorrhage
  • Intrapartum asphyxia
  • Unexplained intrauterine death
  • Unplanned pregnancy

Since 2001 the Unit has held annual Research Methods courses, partly funded by WHO CWS grants, to provide practical training in methods for randomized clinical trials and systematic reviews. Each year 10-15 participants from South Africa and 10-15 from other countries in the WHO AFRO region have attended the course. The courses offered by the Unit have been highly rated by participants, and several have gone on to publish Cochrane systematic reviews and conduct randomized clinical trials, sometimes with ongoing mentoring from the centre staff