@SATVI Project Office,Brewelskloof Hospital, Worcester

By Lavinia Petersen

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Thank you to Global Health Trials Network and the Clinical Research Centre, University of Cape Town, for the opportunity to spend a day observing at the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) Project Office, Brewelskloof Hospital in Worcester. Thank you also to Rachel Oelofse, Study Coordinator, and Anne Swarts, Research Nurse for their patience and insights into their study and allowing Daphne van Ster (University of Stellenbosch) and myself to job shadow, despite their having to prepare for a monitoring visit. 


            Lavina Petersen (CRC, University of Cape Town, Rachel Oelofse (Study Coordinator, SATVI), Anne Swarts (Study Nurse), Daphne van Ster (University of Stellenbosch)

We had a brief tour of the SATVI premises at Brewelskloof hospital, which are very well set out and maintained, with its own pharmacy within the main hospital. SATVI also has its own laboratory next to the main project office for processing immunology samples.


Currently, there are a number of TB projects being run at the SATVI/Brewelskloof Hospital. We were able to observe Sr Rachel Oelofse and her team during a phase 1/11a double-blind, placebo controlled, vaccine study in HIV negative adults with and without latent tuberculosis. This particular project has 4 cohorts, each consisting of 16 healthy adult participants, drawn from the local community in Worcester.  Currently, BCG is the only approved vaccine to prevent TB. However, many people still get TB when they are older, despite being given BCG at birth.  This study may help to find a new TB vaccine and to see if it is safe in non-HIV infected healthy adults, and may also provide information on the immune response after receiving the vaccine.

On the day of our job shadow, we were fortunate to observe a follow up visit and final vaccine day of their Cohort 2.  It was interesting to observe their follow up procedures and I was gratified by their participants’ willingness to allow us to observe.

I was also able to discuss recruiting methods and was quite interested to hear that the SATVI team had a marketing and recruitment drive at the local shopping mall and had huge success in recruiting for their study with this initiative. 

The site at Worcester is situated within a pretty garden and tree-lined area, surrounded by beautiful mountains. The picturesque surroundings and friendly SATVI staff helped to create a very relaxed atmosphere and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience – despite the extreme heat and temperature of 49 degrees!

I am grateful to Global Health Trials Network in facilitating this day of learning and sharing thoughts and ideas with the SATVI team in Worcester and for widening my perspective on research . 


Sr Rachel Oelofse (SATVI Study coordinator) in discussion with participant prior to vaccination

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SATVI consulting rooms within the Brewelskloof Hospital, Worcester

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Srs Rachel & Anne Swarts prepping for vaccination and Sr van Ster sitting in the participants’ waiting area


SATVI operational premises within Brewelskloof Hospital