Emthonjeni Centre
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The Emthonjeni Centre (EC) opened its doors in April 2007.

The multidisciplinary Centre is an initiative of the School of Human and Community Development (SHCD).

Research

Overview

The Centre is a centralised research and data repository. It encourages sustainable research and publication across the School of Human and Community Development (SHCD).

Emthonjeni Management and Research System (EMARS)

South Africa is committed to providing equitable access to higher education.

This requires the ongoing monitoring of health, including the mental health of its student population toward the provision of timely evidence-based intervention programmes that may be applicable to other populations in due course.

As part of a formative attempt to address the need for the systematic and routine collection and housing of mental health data, a team of researchers and developers at the University of the Witwatersrand's Emthonjeni Centre have produced a digital technology that standardises and records key data upon intake of clients to the University's community health centre.

It houses all the data related to each case according to the prescribed clinical protocols and provides real-time reports for the key stakeholders involved in the training, monitoring and evaluation of community services within the University.

While the system was intended to manage Emthonjeni data in the short term, the up-scaling of the system to centrally locate clinical material related to psychology, social work and speech pathology and audiology training programmes nationally is envisaged in the foreseeable future.

Projects

The Mental Health and HIV and Aids Project

Background

The mental health correlates of HIV and AIDS remain largely unacknowledged and under-researched in sub-Saharan Africa. The HIV-mental health nexus is a considerable social services and health problem.

Overview

  • Research indicates that people with a mental illness are more likely to become infected with HIV as they may be vulnerable to abuse and may engage in risky sexual behaviour.
  • People-Living with HIV/AIDs (PLHA) are more likely to develop some form of mental illness.
  • Rates of mental disorder amongst PLHA are as much as 2-3 times higher than the general population.
  • Mental health problems are both a precursor to and a consequence of HIV/AIDS. Mental health interventions appear vital to the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS with regard to the behaviour of both PLHA and those not (yet) infected.
  • People with poor mental health tend to be poor adherers to medication, including adherence to anti-retroviral medication.

Aims

  • Collate and advance existing research in the field  
  • Mobilise research in areas where knowledge is limited
  • Begin with education and advocacy in the area of mental health and HIV and Aids
  • Provide resources for those wishing to extend this advocacy
  • Develop training in the field with the aim of developing models of best practice
The WITS Hearing Aid Bank (HAB)

The Wits Hearing Aid Bank (HAB) provides hearing instruments and earmoulds to children up to six years old. These children typically meet one of the following criteria:

  • They are waiting for their own hearing instrument through a state hospital.
  • They are awaiting a cochlear implant evaluation.
  • They Require a trial with amplification based on a diagnosis of auditory neuropathy/dyssynchrony.

The hearing instruments are provided on a loan basis for a period of up to six months.  In exceptional circumstances, the loan period may be extended for a further three months.

Purpose

The Wits HAB has been established to reduce delays in making amplification available to young children. There are many reasons why delays in providing amplification may occur and this places children in jeopardy in terms of speech and language development.

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