Research forms an integral component of the School. The main research areas are both strategic and applied, with particular emphasis on research that has relevance to the region.
MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt) runs the Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) which surveys approximately 107 500 people annually and has a unique dataset describing the changing pattern of rural mortality, non-communicable diseases and nutrition. The Agincourt HDSS constitutes a platform for research programmes that elucidate causal pathways and test interventions across the life course.
Centre for Health Policy (CHP) is a multi-disciplinary research organisation which seeks to contribute to excellence in health policy and health economics research, and to be a critical participant in health policy processes.
Consortium for Advance Research Training in Africa (CARTA) is an initiative jointly led by the Wits School of Public Health and the African Population Health and Research Centre.
Department of Community Health at the School of Public Health comprises specialists and registrars who are involved in public health service delivery, teaching and research. Areas of work cover a broad spectrum of activities within academic complex hospitals, national, provincial and local government as well as occupational medicine, environmental health and the control of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Gender and Health Unit Originally focused on the areas of quality of care, maternal care, termination of pregnancy services (TOP) including medical abortion, cervical cancer, tobacco on women's health, services for survivors of sexual assault, the effect of health sector reforms on reproductive health and rights and the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. The Women's Health Project was closed due to lack of funding for its outreach activities. The work of the WHP has been merged into the Gender and Health Division of the School and only specific activities will continue viz. health sector reforms and sexual and reproductive health as well as incorporating gender and sexual and reproductive rights and health into the SPH's curriculum. The Quality Maternal Care Project and the Resource Centre has been absorbed into the School.
Priority Cost Effective Lessons for System Strengthening South Africa (PRICESSLESS SA) is hosted by Wits University School of Public Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences, together with the SA Medical Research Council and the Wits Unit in Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research (Agincourt). PRICELESS SA is a programme to enable smart decisions about health investments in South Africa. The intent is to provide information that will improve the way in which resources are allocated and priorities are set to improve public health. The aim of PRICELESS, launched in 2009, is to support the development of evidence-based information and tools in order to help determine how best to use existing scarce resources so that better decisions can be made in prioritizing public health interventions.