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EVOLVE-HBV Study: Materials to support community dialogue, public engagement and education about Hepatitis B Virus infection in a rural population in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

posted on 2024-02-20, 18:12 authored by Philippa MatthewsPhilippa Matthews, Motswedi AndersonMotswedi Anderson, Guy HarlingGuy Harling, Elizabeth WaddiloveElizabeth Waddilove, Janet Seeley, Anita Edwards, Gloria SukaliGloria Sukali, Collins IwujiCollins Iwuji, Ngcebo Mhlongo, Welcome Mbokazi, Luthando Zuma, Busangani Ngwenya, Janine-Lee Upton, Nondumiso Mpanga, Noma Majozi

These materials have been generated to support the EVOLVE-HBV study based at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, working in collaboration with the Francis Crick Institute. The resources include a report of the sub-project 'Beliefs, Behaviours and Barriers that influence access to hepatitis B interventions' funded by a UCL Grand Challenges Award.

This work has been led by an interdisciplinary team including Social Scientists, the AHRI Public Engagement team, clinicians and laboratory scientists working with the Community Advisory Board in the uMkhanyakude District of KwaZulu Natal.

Study objectives:

Our ultimate goal is to improve prevention, treatment and care for people living with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in rural South Africa. The objective of community interactions is to involve local populations as stakeholders and codesigners in translational research and in the design and implementation of pathways for HBV prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Specific aims:

Aim 1. To measure how HBV is understood within a rural South African community, including transmission beliefs and stigmatization, and to understand experiences and expectations of living with HBV.

Aim 2. To work with the community to develop accessible and acceptable clinical care pathways, including preventive interventions, which consider social, clinical, logistical, and economic barriers.

Aim 3. Longer term, to obtain community input and feedback on the pathways developed, to further refine proposed intervention approaches.

Ethics and governance

This work has been approved under the terms of the EVOLVE-HBV project ethics: University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) Biomedical Research Ethics Committee (BREC, ref. 00004495/2022) and University College London, UK ethics committee (ref. 23221/001 EVOLVE-HBV).

Participants in community engagement events were informed of the aims of the programme (in advance and on the day of participation), and provided their consent for the taking and sharing of photographs, and for the collation of their experiences and feedback in anonymised form.


EVOLVE-HBV has core funding from the Francis Crick Institute, UK. We also received a £7,500 ‘Grand Challenges’ award from University College London for cross-disciplinary collaborations awarded to Prof Philippa Matthews (Infection and Immunity) and Prof Guy Harling (Population Health Sciences)