Research has been an important cornerstone of COHSASA’s activities since its establishment in 1995.

To ensure that research is objective, COHSASA has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Economics Department of Stellenbosch University, Insight Actuaries and Consultants and Imperial College London.

Operational research plays an important role in designing, refining and implementing improvements to COHSASA’s programmes so that the company continues to provide value to its clients. Such research also guides the Council in how products should evolve to adapt to new circumstances and environments. 

COHSASA has participated in a number of national and international research programmes including:

2015          Part of a MOA  with the Economics Department of Stellenbosch University, Insight Actuaries and Imperial College, London to develop various research projects.

2009          Part of the “Making Existing Technologies Safer” research group for the World Alliance for Patient Safety and Imperial College Technology for Patient Safety.

2007         World Health Organisation (WHO) collaborative research project to administer a prospective incident monitoring, reporting and response system to determine the frequency and nature of adverse events associated with HIV patients and measure responses to beneficial interventions in a hospital in the Western Cape.

2006          Making Medical Injections Safety Public Hospital Assessment Project to examine injection safety in 159 public sector hospitals with the John Snow Research and Training Group of the United States, the National Department of Health and the South African Medical Research Council.

2006          WHO-sponsored research to determine the incidence of adverse events in two Western Cape hospitals using a retrospective review of medical records methodology.

2005          Research project to develop a comprehensive care accreditation tool for antiretroviral therapy (ART) sites[1]. This tool measures ART site readiness to meet the targets for ARV provision set by the National Government[2], as well as the international requirements set by the World Health Organisation according to its “3 by 5” initiative[3].

2004/5       Research sponsored by the German Society for Technical Co-operation – Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH to develop an evaluative framework of organisational standards and indicators for measuring the performance of health facilities in a district that manages HIV patients according to national and international norms and standards. Known as the HIV and AIDS District Evaluation Tool (HIV-DET), the research brief was to design and deliver a quality improvement programme specific to a district HIV disease management programme (DMP) across a representative group of facilities to assist health providers to improve the quality of HIV-related services. Report on the HIV-DET available at

2003          Impact of Accreditation on the Quality of Hospital care: KwaZulu–Natal Province, South Africa, Quality Assurance Project, USA.

2002          The impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on hospital services in South Africa: Responses, coping strategies and behaviour of management and health professionals. A report for the World Health Organisation in collaboration with the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine at the University of Natal and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health.

2001          Research for World Health Organisation and International Hospital Federation Collaborative Project Hospitals within Healthcare Systems: Their Capacity to Meet the Needs of Populations, Africa Region.

2001         World Health Organisation research report Assessing the Cost and Effectiveness of Hospital Accreditation in Two Developing Countries: A Preliminary Investigation.

1998-2000     South African Accreditation Impact Research jointly conducted by the Medical Research Council and the University Research Corporation of the United States.

Research has generated peer-reviewed papers. You can find the live links in the Peer Review Articles Section of the website.

[1] “Comprehensive HIV and AIDS treatment for South Africa, Facility Accreditation Form” National Department of Health, 9 January 2004.

[2] “Operational plan for Comprehensive HIV and AIDS care, management and treatment for South Africa”, National Department of Health, 19 November 2003.

[3] “Treat 3 million by 2005”, World Health Organisation, 2004.