It is half way through 2018, and yes, I cannot believe it either. So much has happened in the past 5 months: a building has been built, kitted and people inserted; an international conference has been hosted and of course many clinical trial activities have kept us busy.
In your newsletter this month we touch on the naming of our new building, shed some light on our community activity and Prof shares a fitting message on mountains.
Looking ahead, we welcome two international students who will be with us for the next 8 weeks and this week (5-8 June) we host the BGC3 Film team from the Gates Foundation who are filming us to feature on the Gates Notes.
As always, please feel free to offer feedback, and if you have a newsworthy story of something you believe your colleagues should know about, please send it in.
Till next month,
CAB Quarterly Meetings
Beware of Mountains
I was briefly in Switzerland last week to speak at a conference. Swiss factories make the yummiest milk chocolate. It was spring and I saw happy cows on green meadows eat clean grass with much gusto. Looking at the general tidiness of the place it came as a surprise that even Swiss cows release (a lot) of brown material at the other end. Of course the Swiss farmers are embarrassed about that. It is smelly and it looks untidy. So they make a farmhand go through the fields each morning to pick up this particular product and build a pile with it well out of sight. Before winter comes the collected manure is ground up and spread evenly so the meadow in question will always look clean and remain fertilised.
Surrounded by all this perfection and excellence I was intrigued to see this warning sign at the gate to the house where I was staying: “Beware of Mountains”. Surely there will not be a mountain jumping an unsuspecting visitor, even in the centre of the Alps? So I asked around what this meant. The one answered grumpily: “It’s to keep the tourists out!”, backed up up by the remark that the sign was not in English for nothing (in Switzerland they speak a funny German, French or Italian while English is a foreign language). Another thought that this was just an original joke for people who did not have a dog to warn off people, and yet another just liked the colours.
The third respondent was more philosophical. He explained that the Swiss, like any other people, had a lot of mountains to climb, and that the flawless state of the place was actually due to the Swiss working very hard at overcoming obstacles efficiently and without complaint. The sign would warn these hard working people to relax when they came home. A reminder to take it a bit easier. A cue not to make mountains out of molehills. To take some time off to relax and recharge for the next real climb. I thought there was something in that. Choose your mountain, hit it hard and conquer it!
Prof. Andreas Diacon
Vela and Marthalize showed the PanACEA team around Cape town.
They specifically went to clinics that mostly work with TB Patients. The team got to see different townships and how they work with the communities and research centres to do make TB research possible.
George Site update
New pictures of the building currently underway.
Infectious Control Training
The following staff members participated in the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) learning programme (developed by the Infection Control Africa Network and managed by Bettercare) and were awarded with certificates in May 2018:
– Brenda Jewell
– Ida van Deventer
– Karen Cloete
– Michelle Erikkson
– Norma Hughes
– Sheila Visser
– Silvia Nunes
All staff scored above 80% for their assessments!
The Annual ACTG meeting in Washington from 20-24 June.
A TASK delegation will attend the Annual ACTG Meeting in Washington, DC in June where members of CTUs from around the world get together to discuss ongoing ACTG studies, meet colleagues and plan future projects.
Having started as an HIV/AIDS clinical trials network, the ACTG has focused on other diseases related to HIV in recent years. TASK was the first CRS to enrol a patient on an ACTG TB drug trial (A5213) and has been one of the top recruiting sites since becoming a CRS.
Name the building Competition Results
Congratulations Naadira Vanker, Carmen Kleinhans and Charne Rossouw!
Your name choice was short listed and then democratically voted in by staff present at the last operations meeting as the new name of our building in Parow.
Our new building has an official name: “TASK HQ” (Headquarters)
Thanks to all who participated.