Policy and Service Development

The Unit has established a model of work that is consultative and socially responsive and at the same time scientifically rigorous. It has strong links with government departments, including the City of Cape Town, Western Cape Provincial and National Departments of Health and communities and non-governmental and civil society organisations.

We collaborate with these various departments on reproductive health policy issues, health systems research, program monitoring, evaluation and implementation and training of health personnel.

Our links with the health services ensure that the work of the Unit is anchored in current health and health care realities, and facilitates the translation of research into policy and practice.

Policy documents we have contributed to:

National Cervical Cancer Control Policy (currently being finalized)

  • Western Cape Provincial Policy and Standardised Guidelines and Protocols on the Termination of Pregnancy Services (2010)
  • Western Cape Cervical Cancer Screening & Colposcopy Services Provincial Policy and Guidelines (2009)
  • Draft National Policy for conscientious objection in the implementation of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1996 (2007)

Social Responsiveness and Advocacy

A wide range of social responsiveness activities have been achieved by the Women's Health Research Unit. Members of the Unit have been active in researching and advocating for development and implementation of policies and programs that improve the health of women (e.g. cervical cancer screening, termination of pregnancy, contraceptive guidelines). Information on women's health has been provided through written and verbal communications, with a wide range of professionals, researchers and activists in women's health. Research reports and policy briefs on the Unit's research findings have been widely distributed.