Wits School of Public Health Short Courses: 2014 Applications



DATES:  07 – 11 JULY 2014

Event History Analysis (EHA) has become increasingly popular in recent years as social scientists become more interested in whether and when events occur. This course will introduce participants to the purpose and principles of EHA using longitudinal (repeated measures) event data (e.g. demographic surveillance system) and statistical techniques which can model such event processes.

By the end of the short course participants should be able to:

  • Acquire data collection skills for demographic retrospective surveys and demographic surveillance system (DSS).
  • Select good analytical strategies and statistical models to analyse demographic data in relation to specific research questions.
  • Perform, present and interpret the results of EHA.

The course is organised into sessions which encompass EHA-oriented longitudinal data management; conceptualising time, event and censoring; life tables and Kaplan-Meier analysis; and proportional hazards modeling.

Closing date for applications is 27 JUNE 2014



DATES:  30 JUNE – 04 July 2014

This course focuses on the principles of infectious disease epidemiology, using examples from African context.  On successful completion of the course, participants will have a sound understanding of the principles of infectious disease epidemiology, a thorough knowledge of the epidemiology of key infectious diseases in Africa, such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria, and will be equipped with various approaches to addressing infectious disease prevention and control.

Content covers measures of infectiousness, including reproductive rates, herd immunity, vaccine efficacy, vaccine coverage and attack rates. It also demonstrates infection transmission principles, using practical examples of the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, diarrheal and respiratory tract infections. Current issues in infectious disease epidemiology and eradication of infectious diseases are discussed.

The module comprises a combination of formal lectures, group tutorials and practical exercises. Experienced facilitators from within the University of the Witwatersrand and outside are used, making this one week course very worthwhile.

Closing date for applications is 27 JUNE 2014




The burden of illness from chronic diseases is rapidly increasing worldwide and, in particular, in the developing world, facilitated through considerable lifestyle changes associated with demographic, societal and epidemiologic transitions. This course provides an introduction to the aetiology, epidemiology, risk factors and public health importance of selected chronic diseases, with particular reference to developing countries.

This course will develop capacity of health professionals to

  • Describe the burden of chronic disease
  • Describe the social determinants and inequalities in health
  • Understand the theory of epidemiologic transition and the development of chronic diseases
  • Understand the relationships between major lifestyle risk factors and the role of early life experiences in the variation of disease occurrence
  • Describe the epidemiology of common chronic diseases, methodological challenges in conducting chronic disease research, and factors influencing the interpretation of epidemiologic research for specific chronic diseases 
  • Describe the practice of chronic disease prevention and control
  • Recognise the contribution of genetic factors to chronic disease development
  • Recognise the relationship between infectious diseases and chronic diseases

Closing date for applications is 15 AUGUST 2014



DATES:  8 – 12 SEPTEMBER 2014

The course provides an introduction to the area of clinical trials, focusing on the conduct of clinical trials in developing countries where resources are limited. The main issues in the design, implementation and interpretation of clinical trials will be introduced to students. In addition, the module will:

  • Outline the principles of comparative clinical trials in investigating safety, efficacy and effectiveness of treatments
  • Highlight strengths and weaknesses of clinical trial design in comparison to other study designs
  • Introduce the key elements and steps in clinical trial implementation, including calculation of sample sizes to provide adequate power to the trial.

The key characteristics of clinical trials, which include ethical and methodological considerations, principles of clinical trial conduct, clinical trial organization and monitoring, data collection, data processing (data management), quality assurance and quality control, and trial reporting, will be comprehensively described. The roles of the data safety and monitoring committee (DSMB) and the community advisory board (CAB), as well as good clinical practice (GCP), will be highlighted.

Who should attend?

  • Clinical research associates, study coordinators, and study monitors working in the field who are looking for additional training.
  • Bench scientists in pharmaceutical companies who want to change careers within the industry.
  • Registered nurses who want to develop the skills to enter a new field.
  • Study coordinators who want more training in order to enter the wider clinical research associate employment market.
  • Other professionals who want to enter the field of clinical research, or who have been hired recently by academic study sites and need comprehensive training in clinical research.

Closing date for applications is 22 AUGUST 2014



DATES: 15 – 19 SEPTEMBER 2014

The demand for properly conducted clinical trials, providing a reliable and objective assessment of various treatments or drugs on patients, has increased over the years. Statistics has become an integral part of the design, data management and analysis of data arising from clinical trials. The proper use of statistics at all these stages is important for results to be acceptable to the wider community. Thus there is need to match the growth in clinical trials by expansion of biostatistical expertise.

The course is a combination of lectures and hands-on practical sessions.  It aims to comprehensively discuss the statistical issues required to execute a clinical trial and to analyze data arising from such trials.

Who should attend?

This course targets professionals working in the clinical trial industry who intend to analyze clinical trial data and to provide statistical support in properly conducted medical research, and those wanting to enrich and enhance their statistical knowledge.


Participants must have basic training in biostatistics and STATA.

Closing date for applications is 29 AUGUST 2014

Contact the Short Course Administrator, Ms. Dikgapha Khumalo, for further details.

Email:              Dikgapha.Khumalo@wits.ac.za

Tel:                  (011) 717-2543

Fax:                 (011) 717-2084

Course time:    8h30-17h00 Monday to Friday

Venue:             School of Public Health Computer Laboratory

Cost:               R 6 050 per course – Participants outside Wits University

                       R 3 025 per course – Staff and students at Wits

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