COVID-19 Initiatives and Projects


Wits RHI is involved in an effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic that is facing South Africa and the world at large. Prof. Helen Rees is a member of the team advising the Health Minister on COVID-19 (MAC). She is part of the Clinicians Group, the Research group, and the Incident Management Team (IMT). Prof. Rees is Co-Chair of the South African arm of the Solidarity study

This is a World Health Organisation (WHO) coordinated trial that will generate high quality evidence on COVID-19 treatment options. Prof Helen is also the International Coordinator for the global CROWN Coronation study. This study is aimed at looking at strategies to protect healthcare workers.

Key projects are being spearheaded by our directors who are currently engaged in several COVID-19 studies. Specifically:

  • Coordinating the WHO’s Solidarity Study across fourteen sites in South Africa (Prof. Rees national Co-PI; Dr. Thesla Palanee: National Coordinator)
  • Coordinating the global Crown Coronation choroquine prophylaxis study for Health Care workers (Prof. Sínead Delany-Moretlwe South African Co-PI, Prof. Rees Global Co-PI)
  • National testing and contact tracing programme (Dr. Gloria Maimela)
  • Pregnancy Surveillance Study (Prof. Lee Fairlie)
  • National WhatsApp messaging and symptom surveillance programme (Prof. Saiqa Mullick, Co-PI)


Click here to download COVID-19 Initiatives and Projects one-pager

List of COVID-19 Initiatives and Projects

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Solidarity Study

The World Health Organization and partners are launching a large international clinical study to find out whether any of four COVID-19 treatments are effective. This is known as the Solidarity study.

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CROWN CORONATION

The purpose of this project is to assess the effectiveness of the Measles and Rubella (MR) and Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccines in preventing COVID-19 disease in healthcare workers.

Download this single project brief
Download full COVID-19 project listing
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Wits RHI PEPFAR COVID-19 Response

Wits RHI PEPFAR funded programmes (Tshwane CDC, Lejweleputswa APACE and Key Populations - USAID) in collaboration with PASP – ELMA, Project PrEP – UNITAID, and School-Based Programme - USAID) have established a PEPFAR RHI COVID-19 Response Committee which serves as a nerve centre to coordinate an internal Wits RHI COVID-19 response and to leverage resources and best practices between the programmes.

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COVID-19 Surveillance in Pregnant Women and Household Contacts

The Pregnancy Surveillance Study aims to evaluate the impact of SARS-CoV-2 in pregnancy and household contacts of pregnant women since there is insufficient research on this population. This study will determine the natural history of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy, including the potential for vertical transmission, among HIV-uninfected pregnant individuals and those living with HIV.

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The South African Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial

A randomized placebo-controlled study to determine the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of a new SARS-CoV-2 vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.

Download this single project brief
Download full COVID-19 project listing
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The COVID-19 Digital Risk Assessment and Mapping known as HealthCheck

In a collaborative effort, Wits RHI’s is collaborating with Praekelt and the NDOH to build a USSD and WhatsApp Digital Risk Assessment and Mapping Tool called “COVID-19 HealthCheck”. The NDOH WhatsApp platform that houses the HealthCheck tool, has become the most highly utilized platform for users in South Africa currently serving millions of South Africans.

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The EDCTP-COREP COVID-19 Household Cluster Investigation

This study aims to determine the epidemiological parameters of COVID-19 through a household transmission study in a rural area of South Africa.

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National Testing and Contact Tracing across our PEPFAR-funded Programmes: The Wits RHI PEPFAR COVID-19 Response Committee

The committee serves as a nerve centre to coordinate the internal Wits RHI COVID-19 response and to leverage resources and best practices between the programmes. This committee response is guided by the Wits RHI Steering committee, PEPFAR, and its agencies (USAID, CDC, UNITAID, and ELMA).

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Novavax

The purpose of this study is 2-fold: 1) to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 rS with Matrix-M1 adjuvant in serologically naïve (to SARS-CoV-2) healthy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative adult subjects (Cohort 1 – HIV-negative) and 2) to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 rS with Matrix-M1 adjuvant in serologically naïve (to SARS-CoV-2) medically stable HIV-positive adult subjects (Cohort 2 – HIV-positive).

Download this single project brief
Download full COVID-19 project listing
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COVID Vaccine Implementation Science

A COVID-19 vaccine plan led by the Implementation Science team.

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COVID-19 Sero Survey

A cross-sectional COVID-19 survey involving questionnaires and seroprevalence, with the aim of measuring and understanding COVID-19 perceptions and impacts among residents of Hillbrow.

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HPTN084 CoVPN Preparedness Fund

To provide support to Ward 21 CRS #31966, to strengthen their site capacity to participate in large Phase 111 efficacy trials.

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The Health Care Worker Health and Wellbeing Study

This study focuses on health and mental wellbeing of health workers providing care to patients with COVID-19 in Johannesburg, South Africa: rapid needs assessment and action research.

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Jansen ENSEMBLE VAC31518COV3001 HG

This project aims to demonstrate the efficacy of AD26.COV2.S in the prevention of molecularly confirmed moderate to severe/critical COVID-19, as compared to Placebo, in SARS-CoV-2 Seronegative adults.

Download this single project brief

Download full COVID-19 project listing
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COVID-19 Sero Survey

A cross-sectional COVID-19 survey involving questionnaires and seroprevalence, with the aim of measuring and understanding COVID-19 perceptions and impacts among residents of Hillbrow.

Download full COVID-19 project listing
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B-Wise Social Media: Supporting SA Youth with HIV Edutainment Bursts

This initiative enables innovative solutions focusing on HIV prevention among vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 crisis.

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